Blues ride nine-game win streak to Truman

Post presence Junior forward Tiara George attempts a hookshot against NW Missouri State. George scored 13 points in the 81-56 Washburn victory in Lee Arena on Jan. 25.

Michael Vander Linden / Washburn Review

The Lady Blues basketball team was able to exercise the depth of their team last Wednesday, when they took on the Northwest Missouri State University Bearcats. It was a total team effort as three different players scored in double figures and a different player collected more than ten rebounds.

The game seemed mismatched from the get-go as Washburn jumped out to an early lead. With 14 minutes left, they jumped out to a 10-point lead. Within another seven minutes of the game, the Lady Blues were pushing a 20-point lead.

This included 20 first-half points from senior guard Ebonie Williams, who went 4-for-5 from the field.

With a 23-point lead at halftime, it remained to be seen how the Lady Blues would play the second  half, aggressive or conservative.

Head Coach Ron McHenry talked to the team about taking pride in what they were doing.

“It’s definitely a learning process,” said McHenry. “When we get a big lead, we’ve got to learn how to put the pedal to the metal.”

However, the words were not effective, as the Lady Blues dropped from a shooting percentage of 53 percent to 29 percent.

With the offensive decline, the Blues was relied on their defense to make stops to maintain the large lead. The lead never became in jeopardy as the team was able to hold the Bearcats with a minimum lead of 18 and a maximum lead of 29. Washburn won 81-56.

“The first half was excellent basketball for us,” said Coach McHenry. “The second half was a different story and we’ll have to change that.”

Williams finished with 22 points, while junior guard Laura Kinderknecht scored 12. Freshman guard Casyn Buchman added 11 points and junior forward Tiara George collected 13 rebounds.

“Home court is a huge advantage,” said McHenry. “That’s where we’re most comfortable and we just have the best atmosphere.”

With the bench coming up as vital to the Lady Blues success, it was the opposite story for WU’s win Saturday against Missouri Western.

The Washburn starters scored 54 out of the games 60 points, leaving only six points to the bench.

Williams and senior guard Stevi Schultz took turns leading the team to victory. The first half saw Schultz come alive and put in 14 of her points, while Williams saw five.

In the second half, Williams began making more of a splash. She was able to find 14 points, while Schultz only scored two.

After an 8-0 run by the Griffons to tie the game, the Lady Blues were able to outmatch their opponents and take the lead 60-55.

Williams led the team with 19 points, while Schultz scored 16. The two also led the team in rebounds, as Schultz had nine and Williams had seven.

With the two wins, the Washburn Lady Blues have an 18-3 record and 11-1 in MIAA play. Currently, they are the No. 11 team in the nation, the second highest ranked of any MIAA team, following only Northeastern State.