Coach Ron McHenry and his Lady Blues basketball team saw themselves in a physical matchup against the Gorillas of Pittsburg State January 31 at Lee Arena.
McHenry was comfortable with the physicality and said that his team was comfortable playing this style.
“We are deep enough to play through a tough, physical game,” McHenry said.
The first 10 minutes of the game went back and forth between the Lady Blues and the Gorillas. At the 10 minute mark, Laura Kinderknecht hit a three-pointer to take a 13-10 lead and the Lady Blues rode that momentum to the locker room at halftime with a 9 point lead, 28-19.
Washburn held PSU to only 20 percent shooting, while shooting 50 percent for the first half.
The second half was dominated by the Lady Blues. Washburn had the lead for the entire half, stretching out the lead to 16 points at its largest, 39-23. PSU got within 9 points at different times in the half, but WU was too solid to give up the lead.
The game ended with a Washburn win, 58-44. The Lady Blues improved to 15-3 overall and to 9-1 in the MIAA. Pittsburg State dropped to 12-7 overall and to 6-5 in the MIAA conference.
Kinderknecht was the leading scorer for Coach McHenry with 15 points. She made three 3-pointers and shot 5-for-10 from the field. Sierra Moeller (Pierre, S.D.) scored 10 points with four free throws and 3-for-5 from the field. Stormye Everett (Aurora, Colo.) crashed the boards hard, grabbing 11 rebounds in the game, setting the high mark for her career.
“Stormye has brought us a great deal of energy to our game,” McHenry said. “She works hard at getting to the boards and that is a great start to be a good rebounder.”
Leading up to the game, Coach McHenry knew that his player would have to handle the MIAA conference’s leading scorer, Lizzy Jeronimus. She was averaging 19 points a game coming into the game, but WU’s defense held her to only 12 points and 2-for-12 from the field. The stout defense also held PSU to a 30 percent field goal percentage.
“We knew we could shut down everyone else, if we slowed her down,” Moeller said.
“The primary defenders on Jeronimus did a nice job of staying between her and the basket and without fouling,” McHenry said. “We ran a couple of defenders at her and they did well. We also were pretty aware where she was most of the game.”
The Lady Blues prepare to face Missouri Western University tonight at the Lee Arena at 5:30. MWU is 13-8 overall and had a 6-6 conference record.
“Missouri Western is a tough match up for us because they really want to put it on the floor and their bigs like to step out and shoot the perimeter jumper,” McHenry said. “We have seen that game before this year but Missouri Western does it at a high level. We also will need to handle their press because they are really good at creating turnovers.”
Washburn is taking their four-game winning streak into this game and remain atop the MIAA standings.