EMPORIA, Kan. – Washburn’s Jessica Mainz hit 7 of 8 free throws in the final 1:59 leading the No. 4 Lady Blues to a 61-54 over No. 16 Emporia State in ESU’s White Auditorium. Washburn (11-1, 3-0 MIAA) will travel to Maryville, Mo., on Jan. 12 to face Northwest Missouri.
Washburn opened up a a 27-17 leading after breaking from a media timeout to go on a 10-0 run over a 3:17 span. However, back to back 3-pointers by ESU, a lay-up and a pair of free throws created a 10-0 run by the Lady Hornets (8-4, 1-2 MIAA) to knot the score back at 27. with 3:22 remaining in the first half.
The Lady Blues would push the lead back to four with 1:19 remaining in the half, but the Lady Hornets would tie the score at 31 before the beak.
In the second half, the Lady Blues pushed the lead to six on a Janice Bright jumper at 39-33, but again Emporia State put together a 10-1 run to take a 43-40 lead with 10:02 left in the game.
Washburn tied the score at 43 on a Hope Gregory 3-pointer from the corner with 9:40 left and Washburn would take the lead for good at 45-43 on a lay-up by Regiane Araujo.
The Lady Blues pushed the lead to as many as seven taking advantage of an ESU field goal drought of more than six minutes before the Lady Hornets closed the gap to three at 52-49 with 3:29 left.
Down the stretch Washburn would connect on 9 of 12 free throws in the final 2:50 to seal the win giving Ron McHenry his 199th while on the Lady Blues’ bench.
Mainz led the Lady Blues with a career-high 16 points going 4 of 5 from the field and 8 of 9 from the charity stripe. Overall, the Lady Blues were 15 of 21 from the free throw line.
Amanda Holmes also hit double figure scoring 10 points.
Michelle Stueve led ESU with 19 points while recording 10 rebounds.
Washburn forced the Lady Hornets into 24 turnovers leading to 31 points for the Lady Blues. Washburn committed 10 turnovers leading to 10 points for Emporia State.
For the game, Washburn was 22 of 62 from the field for a 35.5 percentage, trailing ESU’s 35.8 percent after hitting 19 of 53 attempts.
Washburn’s bench outscored the ESU bench 17 to 2, led by Araujo’s nine points before fouling out late in the game.
Notes: Washburn is now 34-39 all-time against Emporia State …Washburn has won 14 of the last 19 meetings … 12 of the last 15 games between the two schools have been decided by less than 10 points … Jessica Mainz played a career-high 39 minutes, including all 20 in the second half … Washburn under Ron McHenry is now 190-7 when leading with under five minutes remaining … the win for McHenry was his 199th at Washburn – he is 199-38 all-time on the Lady Blues’ bench … McHenry is now 27-11 all-time when both teams are ranked in the national WBCA poll … Washburn is now 680-321 in 1,001 games in the program’s history.