Breast cancer awareness is supported throughout the Washburn community, and at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday in Lee Arena, the athletic department and Washburn Lady Blues basketball team is showing it cares by hosting a Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Pink Zone Game.
This event, according to the WBCA website, is in conjunction with more than 1,500 other schools and organizations that are uniting to hold Pink Zone games from Feb. 13-22 to raise awareness and money for breast cancer.
The WBCA’s charity is the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund, which is in partnership with the V Foundation.
At the game, there will be shirts and other items for sale, and the money raised will go to charity. The first 500 fans will receive a “Think Pink” T-shirt and purse-shaped manicure set couresty of St. Francis Health Center.
“We’re going to do a Pink Out for breast cancer awareness,” said Summer Harris, marketing/tickets coordinator. “So we have quite a few things you can purchase or donate for breast cancer.”
The Lady Blues will take the pink act on to the floor as well, wearing pink uniforms and pink shoelaces. However, Janice Bright said coach Ron McHenry and his team want to make sure to keep a level of toughness.
“He told us we know that it’s pink day,” said Bright. “We’re going to have on our pink uniforms but the mindset is not to go out their and play like we’re wearing pink uniforms like a bunch of girls.
“I mean we’re all excited about the new look and uniforms but we still want to take care of business. That’s our main focus.”
Aside from the pink festivities, the game has postseason implications for both the Blues and the Griffons.
Before losing two of their last three games, Missouri Southern was tied for second in the MIAA with Washburn.
They are still ranked sixth in the region, one spot ahead of Washburn, but will likely drop when the latest rankings are released.
With both teams fighting for an NCAA tournament at large bid, and possibly an MIAA championship the game is expected to be just as competitive as the meeting earlier this season.
Missouri Southern won 59-58 on Jan. 10 after an intense sequence of events to finish the game.
The Griffons took a 2-point lead after a free throw with 16 seconds remaining, and Bright missed a game-winning 3-pointer in the final seconds.
The Blues still had a chance for overtime when Karla Tailele was fouled with no time left on the clock. She hit the first, but missed the second to end the game.
Needless to say, the Blues are excited for the rematch, hoping to put on the pink jerseys and return the favor to the Griffons in the friendly confines of Lee Arena.
“We’re awfully excited about this game,” said Bright, who leads team in scoring, averaging 18.4 points per game. “We’re just going to come out really hungry. The way we’re playing right now, nobody in the country can beat us. Missouri Southern is coming [to Topeka], we’re going to try to take care of them, and just keep moving.”