PHOTOS: Lady Blues rally against Bulldogs

Big Shot WU’s Lady Blues basketball team awaits the new season sitting at the top spot.

Sam Sayler

It is often said that good things come in threes.  The Washburn Lady Blues may concur after winning three games in a row against the University of Central Missouri 55-49, Northwest Missouri State University, and a special Valentine’s Day game against Truman State University 62-53.

Washburn started the game on its heels and trailed throughout most of the game, down 33-21 at the half.  Nevertheless, free throws and three-point-shots in the second half helped the Lady Blues (18-4, 14-4 MIAA) rally and get the best of the Bulldogs (11-11, 9-9 MIAA) in the end.

Ron McHenry, Washburn head coach, has said throughout the season that the main factor the Lady Blues need to overcome is winning road games.  After winning two games on the road, the Lady Blues ran into a focused Truman squad that was looking for an upset of its own in Lee Arena.

“That’s the difficult thing,” said McHenry.  “Everybody thinks that when you’re at home, you should win the game.  That’s not the way it works.”

McHenry acknowledges that Truman played an admirable part in the game, especially during the first half. The Bulldogs shot 46.7 percent in the first half to the Lady Blues 23.3 percent. Truman also jumped out to a 10-2 lead after a slow start for Washburn.

“I thought Truman had won three in a row coming in to this game as well,” said McHenry.  “They were playing with a ton of confidence in that first half.  22, [Becka] McHenry kid, my namesake, was just getting us.  [Breanna] Daniels scored well.”

McHenry said he was proud of his team for overcoming adversity in the face of defeat and overcoming a Herculean comeback. At the start of the second half, Truman scored first to obtain its biggest lead of the game at 35-21. The Lady Blues found a way to claw its way back into the game.

“Second half, we finally just got going,” said McHenry.  “Some kids bounced better.  You want protection on the floor, and I know our kids hold down pressure, and it’s hard to come out there when you get down 11, 12 on your home fort to dig out of that.”

Stevi Schultz, junior guard, took the game into her hands with a little over seven minutes to play. She scored Washburn’s final 11 points of the game and a total of 19 points for the game. Cassie Lombardino, senior center, had 17 points  and seven rebounds in the game.

“This team showed a lot of character.  That’s impressive to me when you can find character when things aren’t feeling good to you,” said McHenry.

For the last two home games of the season, McHenry hopes that the team can have the same energy shown against Truman and the seniors will leave their home court with a win on Senior Night.

“In the middle of February you got to win all your games,” said McHenry.  “They’re all important as far as rankings and where you stand.  Maybe earlier in the year, you can catch back up, but not right now.”

Up next the Lady Blues face Missouri Southern State University at home on Thursday in its Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Pink Zone game at 5:30 p.m. All fans are encouraged to wear pink to the game in support of breast cancer awareness. In the two teams first meeting this season, Washburn won 75-71. Missouri Southern is coming off a win over No. 20 in the country, Emporia State University.