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Women’s Basketball: Reyes Returns, Warriors Romp

Six Westmont players score in double-figures in the 95-50 win over William Jessup.

Six players scored in double-figures for the Warriors as the Westmont College women’s basketball team defeated William Jessup 95-50 at Murchison Gymnasium on Friday night. Junior post player Alisha Heglund led the way for the Warriors with 16 points on six-of-11 shooting from the floor.

The Warriors, who came out firing on all cylinders, led 32-12 midway through the first half on their way to a 55-19 halftime score.

“It was an incredible team effort tonight,” Westmont head coach Kirsten Moore said. “The first half, especially, is how we strive to play — incredible pressure defense and creating great opportunities for ourselves offensively. We shot the ball well because we got good shots for each other by working the ball around, setting good screens and using our inside out game. It was team basketball in the first half.”

The Warriors made 20 of 35 (57.1 percent) field goal attempts in the first half and 34 of 67 (50.7 percent) for the game. From long range, Westmont made seven of 14 attempts.

No points were sweeter than those scored with 8:45 to go in the first half when junior guard Kerri Reyes laid the ball through the hoop to score the first points of her collegiate career. Since coming to Westmont as a freshman, Reyes has watched the game from the sidelines in civilian clothes. Three knee surgeries later, she took the court for the first time.

“Tonight was Kerri Reyes’ night,” Moore said. “She has persevered over two and a half years to have this moment back out their on the court. What she has given to this team even when she hasn’t been able to be on the court was so evident in her teammates’ reactions to her moment tonight. The whole team was standing on their feet cheering for her. The unity that you saw in that moment is the unity that we played with on the court. Everyone contributed, and everyone did a great job out there.”

Reyes got the moment started with a steal, then fed the ball to junior point guard Amber Stevens. Stevens and Reyes raced down the court, but as Stevens approached an unguarded basket, she bounce-passed the ball to Reyes for the layup.

Aware of the significance, the crowd, which included her parents, joined in the celebration by roaring their approval.

With a large advantage on the scoreboard, Moore was able to give significant time on the floor to all 12 of her healthy players. Only an injured Paige Narum missed out on the fun.

Junior guard Jessica Case recorded 15 points, making five of seven shots from the floor, including three of five from beyond the arc. Sophomore forward Angel Blanco scored 13 points on five-of-eight shooting, and freshman forward Emily Tewksbury notched 12 points including a six-of-nine performance from the free throw line. Also scoring in double figures were sophomore guard Ali Lomax (11 points) and freshman guard Katie Kittle (10 points), both of which were two for two from three-point distance. Senior guard Lindsey Chessum (eight points) made four of four from the floor.

“Lindsey played great,” Moore said. “Some of her passes were awesome and she led our team in assists.”

The Warriors return to Murchison Gymnasium at 5:30 p.m. Saturday when they will host the Keelhaulers of Cal State Maritime.

Ron Smith is Westmont College‘s sports information director.

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