TOPEKA, Kan. – Tiara George hit a lay-up with two seconds remaining in regulation and the eighth-ranked Lady Blues went on to win 71-65 Thursday night in their MIAA opener against Southwest Baptist.
Washburn (6-0, 1-0 MIAA) will take 12 days off and then play a pair of non-conference games at the South Point Casino Holiday Hoops Classic in Las Vegas, Nev., December 18 and 19. These will be their first games away from home this year.
George ended with a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Laura Kinderknecht had career highs with 27 points and seven assists. It was her first time scoring above 20. Dana Elliott had a career high with 13 rebounds.
The Lady Blues were down, 55-53 after the Bearcats (4-2, 0-1 MIAA) hit a jumper with 24 seconds remaining in the second half. Washburn called timeout with 18 seconds left and then missed two shots with six seconds remaining. George got the rebound on the final miss and put it back to tie the game and send Washburn to its first overtime since 2010-11.
The two teams combined to make just 1 of 10 field goals in the first overtime period. SBU was 0 for 6 and Brittney Lynch hit Washburn's only field goal. The Bearcats made four free throws and Washburn made two. It was the Bearcats, this time, who tied the game on their last possession. Jacqui Zalenka, who ended with 23 points, made one of two free throw shots with 17 seconds remaining. Washburn failed to score on its last attempt and the Lady Blues went to their first double-overtime game since playing three extra periods against Pittsburg State in 2008-09.
The Lady Blues scored the first eight of the second overtime period. Kinderknecht opened with a jumper and Casyn Buchman and George followed with baskets. Kinderknecht then made two straight free throws.
The Bearcats answered with a 3-pointer from Chasity Prince with 25 seconds remaining that cut Washburn's lead to 67-62. SBU fouled Kinderknecht and she made two more from the line, her 20th and 21st straight to start the season.
The Bearcats answered with another 3 to make it 69-65 and then Kinderknecht missed two straight free throws, ending her season-opening free throw streak.
Stormye Everett got an offensive rebound on the second miss and made two free throws after she was fouled with eight seconds left. That pushed Washburn's lead to six and the Bearcats missed a 3-pointer in the final seconds.
The Lady Blues shot 44 percent in the game while SBU shot 36 percent. The Lady Blues committed 26 turnovers while SBU had 14. Washburn kept an edge with 52 rebounds while SBU had 28.
Kinderknecht made her first three 3-point attempts and her fourth with 14:49 in the first half put Washburn up by 11, 15-4. Bianca Fennessee followed with a lay-up to push the lead to 13. Washburn pushed it to 14 with 7:29 to go before the Bearcats went on a 10-2 run to get within six in the final minute of the half. George ended the period with a jumper that gave Washburn a 33-25 halftime lead.
Washburn shot 52 percent in the half and made 4 of 9 3-pointers. Kinderknecht went into the locker room with 14 points.
The Bearcats trailed the entire second half until Prince tied it with a 3-pointer with 1:12 to go. Zelenka then hit her jumper that put SBU ahead before George tied it and sent it to overtime.
Zelenka added 11 rebounds for a double-double and Brittney Dukes had 15 points.
Notes: The Lady Blues won their 11th straight against SBU and 13th straight against the Bearcats in Lee Arena…Washburn is 35-11 all-time against SBU now…the Lady Blues improved to 24-17 in overtime games and 3-4 in games that go to at least two overtimes…this was their first overtime game against SBU…Washburn ended its six-game, season-opener home stand with a perfect record and has out-scored opponets, 74-51…the 65 allowed tied the most given up this year…Kinderknecht set a career high with 27 points and seven rebounds…her previous high for points was 18 at Fort Hays State on February 5, 2011 and her previous high for assists was six, recorded seven different times…Brittney Lynch had a career-high with 13 rebounds…her previous high was 11 against Missouri Western on March 1, 2012…George and Kinderknecht moved their streak to six consecutive games scoring in double figures.