Blues burn Hays, make up ground in MIAA

Junior Brette Ulsaker was one of five Lady Blues to score in double figures Saturday as the team won their fifth consecutive game.

Eric Smith

The No. 10 Washburn Lady Blues took their “just win” mentality into two MIAA games last week and came out victorious in both.

Winning Saturday at Fort Hays State 83-60 and defeating Truman State Wednesday in Lee Arena 61-46, the Lady Blues improved their winning streak to five games.

In the game against Truman, the Lady Blues continued their trend in games of starting out slow leading only 22-17 at the half, shooting 10-37 from the field.

“I think we started off really slow,” said Hadleigh Meek, sophomore. “We just couldn’t finish anything, any close-ups. They’re one of the worst teams in our league, and we let them play with us [Wednesday] night. They were getting a lot of second chances in the first half and we took care of the ball better in the second half. We had a lot of turnovers in the first half.”

At Hays on Saturday, the story was a little different as the Lady Blues took the lead for good with 12:55 in the first half. The Washburn women had five players in double figures and built up a lead of as many as 28 points in the second half.

Although the Washburn victories were against two teams that sit in the lower half of the MIAA conference (Hays is No. 7 and Truman is No. 11 in the 11-team league), the wins gave the Lady Blues 19 wins on the season with only three losses.

“At this point, we just need to take care of the easy teams and prepare ourselves for the teams we have coming up,” said Meek.

The Lady Blues have taken care of the “easy” teams, going 11-0 against teams not ranked in the top five in conference. However, it’s the MIAA’s top five teams they have had trouble with, going 1-3. And in the five remaining regular season games, they play all four including MIAA leader Emporia State at home at 7 p.m. on Feb. 25.

Washburn’s next game is at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday against Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Mo. The Jennies beat the Lady Blues earlier this season in a 79-77 overtime thriller in Lee Arena.

Southwest Baptist will host the weekend game against the Lady Blues at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday in Bolivar, Mo.

The Washburn women’s goals for those games are to play the full 40 minutes and to continue to move up in the conference and region.

“Just come out strong,” said Alyssa Mullen, sophomore forward. “We’re trying to get into the [South Central] region top 10 so we can keep on playing and hopefully even win our conference if we can.”