KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The 10th-ranked Washburn Lady Blues rallied to take their first lead of the game late in the first half and then never trailed again on their way to a 68-56 win over Central Missouri on Sunday afternoon at Municipal Auditorium. The win gave Washburn its sixth MIAA tournament title in the last eight years. Washburn receives the automatic bid to the NCAA Division II Championships. The complete bracket will be announced tonight at ncaa.com at 8 p.m. CST.
Washburn was led by Tournament MVP Hope Gregory with 14 points. Fellow all-Tournament team members Dayna Rodriguez and Brette Ulsaker chipped in 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Central Missouri (19-11) jumped out to an early 10-3 lead and led most of the first half, but the Lady Blues (26-3) rallied to tie the game at 23 and led 33-31 at the intermission.
The Jennies closed to within a point at 35-34 in the opening minute of the second half, but the Lady Blues responded with a 15-6 run to open a 10-point cushion at 50-40. Washburn pushed the lead to as many as 13 and the lead never dipped below eight the rest of the way.
Washburn shot 46 percent from the field (25-of-55) and were 12-of-24 from behind the arc. The Lady Blues held UCM to 37 percent shooting from the floor, 19-of-52, including 6-of-18 from three-point range.