Lady Blues rally, down Jennies in OT

Washburn SID

The No. 13-ranked Washburn Lady Blues rallied from five down in the final two minutes to force overtime then ran away from Central Missouri in the extra period for a 66-54 win on Wednesday night in Lee Arena. Washburn is back in action on Saturday night against Southwest Baptist in the “Think Pink” game at 5:30. Fans are encouraged to wear pink in support of breast cancer awareness.

The Lady Blues (19-3, 13-3 MIAA) struggled out of the gates falling behind 7-2 before rallying to take a 13-11 lead midway through the opening half. An 8-0 run by UCM (12-10, 8-7 MIAA) gave the Jennies a 19-13 lead with 5:42 to play. Washburn responded with a 10-0 run of their own to take a four-point lead and WU went into the half with a 27-22 lead.

The Jennies quickly tied the game out of the gate in the second half and took a four-point lead with just under 15 minutes to play. The Lady Blues tied the game, but UCM came right back and took their largest lead of the game at 42-36 with 7:54 to play in regulation. The lead was five at 50-45 with 1:58 remaining, but Rose Hammond scored a traditional three-point play, then tied the game with a layup with 1:12 to play. Neither team was able to score in their final possession and the game went to overtime.

Hope Gregory nailed a three to start the extra period and added another with with just over three minutes left to give WU a 56-50 lead. Gregory added a free throw before Brette Ulsaker drained one from downtown and the Lady Blues led by 10 at 60-50 with 2:04 left in overtime. Washburn closed out the game hitting 7-of-9 from the foul line for the 12-point win.

Gregory scored nine of her career-high 22 points in the extra period. She added 10 rebounds for her third double-double of the season. Dayna Rodriguez recorded her third double-double of the season with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Hammond had 11 points and added six boards and tied her career-high with six assists.

Rebecca Roberts was the only Jennie in double-figures with 22. Danielle Shows had 11 rebounds.

The Lady Blues shot 36 percent for the game, 21-of-59, but were 3-of-5 in overtime and 3-of-3 from behind the arc.  WU held UCM to 30 percent from the floor, 21-of-70 and 2-of-10 in the extra period. Washburn also out-rebounded the Jennies 49-39.

The NCAA released its new regional rankings before the game and Washburn moved up one spot to No. 3 behind West Texas A&M and Emporia State.