Lady Blues come away with victory over Emporia State

Washburn / SID

The 17th-ranked Lady Blues scored first and didn’t let the Lady Hornets lead at all in a 73-66 win over No. 18 Emporia State Saturday afternoon in Lee Arena.

Washburn improved to 15-3 overall and 8-1 and remained in first place in the loss column in the MIAA with the win. The Lady Hornets fell to 11-3 overall and 7-2 in the league. Washburn will return to action Wednesday at Lincoln in a 5:30 p.m. game.

Ebonie Williams scored 21 points off 6 of 18 shooting. She hit three 3-pointers and went 6 of 10 from the free throw line. Cassie Lombardino went 6 of 12 from the field for 13 points and Laura Kinderknecht made 8 of 8 free throws to help her to 12 points.

The Lady Blues led by double figures most of the second half but a lay-up from Kelsey Balcom made it a six-point game, 67-61, with 57 seconds remaining. Williams sunk a pair of free throws but ESU answered with a 3-pointer from Heather Robben to cut the lead to five. Washburn made four more free throws down the stretch to push it to a three-possession game and hold on for the win.

The Lady Blues shot 42 percent from the field while ESU was 37 percent. Washburn made 4 of 7 3-pointers (57 percent) and the Lady Hornets made 5 of 16 (31 percent). Washburn won the rebound battle 37-35 and committed 10 turnovers to the Lady Hornets’ 12. ESU blocked seven shots while Washburn got a hand on just one.

Robben scored 27 points for the Lady Hornets, the most allowed by Washburn all year. She went 7 of 15 from the field and 11 of 11 from the free throw line. Kinderknecht became the 18th player in WU history to go perfect from the line and make at least eight.

The Lady Hornets tied the game at 8-8 at 14:11 and then Tiara George’s lay-up gave Washburn the lead for good. Kinderknecht made two straight free throws at 2:37 to push it to double digits for the first time.

Lombardino’s three-point play at 16:53 in the second half gave the Lady Blues a 12-point lead before the Lady Hornets pushed it to single digits one more time. A jumper from George at 7:54 gave Washburn a game-high 15-point lead. A 7-0 run soon after that brought Emporia State within seven and then Sierra Moeller’s long jumper at 3:10 pushed it back to nine before the Lady Hornets climbed within five with under a minute to play.

George finished with eight points off a 4 of 5 performance under the basket. Seven of the Lady Blues’ first eight baskets were in the paint and they ended the game with a 34-24 advantage on points inside.