The Lady Blues aren’t exactly manhandling the MIAA, they’re dominating it.
The Blues extended their winning streak to 39 and are three games behind the school record for longest consecutive regular season streak of 32.
Guard Jennifer Harris poured in 33 points as the Blues went on the road to beat the Missouri Western Griffons 74-66. The Lady Blues only trailed once, 2-0, very early in the first half, before they grabbed the game for good. Junior Brooke Ubelaker also chipped in with 17 points and 10 rebounds for her first double-double.
Before Saturday’s game someone should have told the Truman State Lady Bulldogs (9-10, 1-8) to bring their running shoes. The Lady Blues (20-0, 9-0) ran away with a 77-61 victory over their opponent from Kirksville, Mo. The Blues were led in scoring by Harris with 27 points and Ubelaker with 18 points. The Lady Bulldogs had three players score in double digits led by guard Katie Fowler with 16 points.
From the opening tip-off, the Blues set the tone running the transition game early and often. Despite missing some easy shots early on, the Blues led by nine before the 10-minute mark of the first half. The Blues intense defense forced 14 turnovers, five of which were April Roadhouse’s steals, and is what aided the run and gun tempo of the Lady Blues.
The dynamic trio of Harris, Ubelaker and forward Megan Sullivan combined for Washburn’s first 15 points of the half, and 30 of the Lady Blues’ 36 points at the half. Ubelaker scored nine of her points in the first half and also grabbed all seven of her rebounds before the intermission.
“We wanted to run tonight and we had to adjust because Truman tried slowing us down,” said Ubelaker. “We executed our offense really well and crashed the boards too. When we couldn’t run we were still able to score.”
In the second half it seemed as though Harris was either making a layup or nailing a tough jump shot when she was locking down on defense. She recorded 14 points, two steals and two assists in the second half to help the Lady Blues reach a 24-point lead. Harris, who could’ve scored 40 points if a few layups and free throws would’ve dropped, noted some things the Blues need to work on.
“We’ve got to work on free throws [12-21]. We played great tonight, but we still need to work on the little things. Coach [McHenry] told us coming into this game that we needed to run and bring the intensity. He warned us that anybody can beat anybody in this league if you let up,” said Harris.
A perfect example of why the Lady Blues remain undefeated this year, and haven’t dropped their last 39 games was prevalent midway through the second half. With the offense in a scoreless drought, McHenry sent his top three scorers to check back into the game.
When Harris, Sullivan and Ubelaker got back in, the Bods went on a 9-2 run that locked up the game. The Lady Blues play Wednesday against Missouri Western at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 1 at Lee Arena, and are looking to make their winning streak 40-0. The Lady Blues wrap up the homestand with a game against Missouri Southern at 5:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 4.
Ubelaker noted the increase in enjoyment of the team as attendance figures continue to rise, and their inspired play at home.
“I’ve noticed more people in the stands. There’s a little recognition on campus, which is nice, and the teachers ask about the games,” said Ubelaker. “But the atmosphere is what makes playing so much fun, so we hope more people start coming out.”