Lady Blues prepare for MSSU game, spot in championship

Eric Smith

The Washburn Lady Blues basketball team has one of their toughest road games of the year at 7 p.m. Wednesday as they travel to the Leggett and Platt Athletic Center in Joplin, Missouri.

They’re playing Lions of Missouri Southern (15-4, 6-4 MIAA) for the second time in a week. The Lady Blues (15-4, 7-3 MIAA) hope to avenge their 69-61 home loss last Wednesday, one that they were down by as much as 19 in and never led.

“We’re definitely going to play much more aggressive,” said junior guard Janice Bright. “We feel like we got punched in the mouth that game. And we didn’t fight back. They wanted it more, and that’s why they beat us.”

The Lions got their first win in Topeka in 11 tries snapping a five game winning streak by the Lady Blues versus the Southern squad. They were also the first team in 89 games to shoot better than 50 percent from the field against the Washburn women.

“I think they beat us on the boards that game too,” said Bright. “We just got to come out more determined starting on the defensive end. We got to crash the boards. Those are the little things we’re going to have to do to win. This game is huge for us, especially since they beat us at our place.”

The 12th-ranked Washburn women currently are in a three-way tie for first in the conference with Northwest Missouri and Emporia State with the Missouri Southern close behind.

“Every game is a dogfight and is crucial to doing well in the conference,” said Bright. “This is the most important time of year and we’re trying to win every game.”

Three of the Lady Blues’ four losses have come on the road this season. With only three road games left, every game has postseason implications.

“We’re trying to focus on the big picture,” said Bright. “We want to try to win a conference championship so that we can play at home and host the postseason games. We don’t want to go out and play those other teams elsewhere because it’s going to be hard.”

The Washburn women basketball team has won two in a row in Joplin last losing there over three years ago.

“I think we’re definitely going to be ready for them because we were not happy with the way we played and the way we lost to them,” said junior forward Kalee Silovsky