Lady Blues Can Claim Outright MIAA Crown At ESU Wednesday

By: Washburn Sports Information (Posted by J.B. Bauersfeld)
By: Washburn Sports Information (Posted by J.B. Bauersfeld)

Game 25: Lady Blues at Emporia State
No. 5 Washburn Lady Blues (21-3, 15-1 MIAA)
at Emporia State Lady Hornets (16-8, 11-5 MIAA)
Date: Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Emporia, Kan.
Arena: White Auditorium (5,000)
Radio: Country Legends 106.9 FM with Jake Lebahn and Mark Elliott
Series Record: tied 44-44
Last Meeting: WU 79-68 on 01/02/13 (H)
Washburn Coach Ron McHenry: 340-68 (.833) in his 13th year at WU and overall
ESU Coach Jory Collins: 59-26 (.694) in 3rd year at ESU and overall.

Micro-Blogging the Blues
(Around) 140-character or less tweets highlighting the season
Washburn reached a season high with a No. 5 spot in last Tuesday's USA Today Sports national poll. Washburn was last that high at No. 4 in week 4 of 2010-11.
Saturday's win over FHSU and UCM's loss helped Washburn clinch at least a share of its second straight MIAA championship and ninth in school history. McHenry has won eight of those titles in his 13 years.
Washburn sits at No. 1 in the NCAA Central Region ranking. Central Missouri is No. 2.
The Lady Blues just clinched their 12th straight 20 win season. All 12 have come under McHenry.
Washburn is first in the MIAA and fifth in the nation allowing 50.8 points a game. They're 10th in the nation and first in the MIAA allowing opponents to shoot .333 from the field.
FHSU is the last opponent to score at least 60 against Washburn as the Tigers had 60 on January 10 in Hays. Since then, Washburn has kept 13 straight opponents to under 60 points.
Washburn ranks fifth in the nation in rebound margin at +10.3. SBU is second at +5.1. Only three teams have out-rebounded Washburn (UWP, FHSU and NWMSU).
Washburn and Emporia State are tied at 44-44 in the series record after Washburn won earlier this year and four of the last five meetings.
Laura Kinderknecht is third in career 3-pointers at WU, now with 189. She's 9th with 296 assists & she needs 31 points to get to 1,000. She would be the 1st Lady Blue with 200 3s, 300 assists & 1,000 points.
Kinderknecht is fifth in the MIAA averaging 15.0 points a game and third with 3.0 3-pointers made per game. Her 3-point total is ninth in the nation.
Head coach Ron McHenry earned his 300th win last year and is currently 340-68 in his 13th year at Washburn.
McHenry now has 8 MIAA regular season titles and 7 MIAA tournament championships to go along with NCAA tournament appearances in all but his 1st season, including a 2004-05 national title.

Chance to clinch MIAA title outright awaits Lady Blues Wed. at Emporia State
The Lady Blues will look to win the MIAA title outright and wrap up the No. 1 seed in the MIAA tournament as they travel to Emporia State Wednesday for a 7 p.m. game at White Auditorium.

The game will be carried on Country Legends 106.9 FM with Jake Lebahn and Mark Elliott calling the action.

Washburn improved to 21-3 overall and 16-1 in the MIAA with its 10th straight win, 61-41 over Fort Hays State Saturday. The Lady Blues then clinched at least a share of the MIAA title when Central Missouri lost later that night. A win Wednesday or Saturday against UCM at home at 5:30 p.m. would clinch the MIAA outright for Washburn.

Emporia State lost its second straight game when it fell 66-56 to Northeastern State on Saturday. The Lady Hornets are 16-8 overall and tied for fifth in the MIAA at 11-5.

These two teams played each other on January 2 this year with Washburn winning, 79-68. The game was tied with 5:32 to go before the Lady Blues ended it on a 17-6 run. Washburn evened the all-time series with ESU at 44-44 and has won four of the last five.

Lady Blues clinch at least a share of their second straight MIAA title
The Lady Blues clinched at least a share of their second straight MIAA title and ninth in school history with their win Saturday against FHSU and Central Missouri's loss. The win also gave Washburn a bye in the MIAA tournament first round. Washburn will need one more win in its last two games to claim the title outright.

The Lady Blues would also wrap up the No. 1 seed in the MIAA postseason tournament with one more win and play at 12 p.m. on March 8 in Kansas City, Mo., against the winner of the No. 8/No. 9 first round game.

The Lady Blues have now won MIAA championships in eight of head coach Ron McHenry's 13 years. This is their third title in the last four years.

Lady Blues secure 12th straight 20-win season
The Lady Blues' win February 21 against Nebraska-Kearney clinched their 12th straight 20-win season. All 12 20-win seasons have come under 13-year head coach Ron McHenry.

Overall, Washburn has 22 20-win seasons with Patty Dick presiding over the first 11 from 1982-83 through 1994-95.

Washburn is averaging 27 wins a season in the last 11 years and has five 30-win seasons.

Lady Blues sit atop first NCAA Central Region ranking
The Lady Blues were ranked No. 1 in the first NCAA Central Region ranking released last Wednesday. Another poll is expected this Wednesday.

Central Missouri is second in the region ranking and Concordia-St. Paul is third. Minnesota State is fourth and Truman is the only other MIAA team in the top 8 at No. 5.

The Central Region is made up of the MIAA, Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference and the Great American Conference. The winners of those three conference tournaments will earn automatic berths to the NCAA Central Region tournament with the five remaining spots filled in by the top teams in the final NCAA ranking. The eight-team Central Region tournament will take place March 15-18 at the site of the top seed in the region. The winner will advance to the Elite 8, March 26-29 in San Antonio, Texas.

McHenry just coached 400th career game
Washburn head coach Ron McHenry coached his 400th career game, all with the Lady Blues, January 24 at Lindenwood.

He's gone 340-68 in his 13 years and with his .833 winning percentage, McHenry entered the year with the highest winning percentage in NCAA II among active coaches with at least five years of experience. He's second all-time (active or not) among coaches with at least 10 years.

His teams have gone to 11 straight NCAA tournaments with eight MIAA titles.

Lady Blues continue climb with No. 5 national ranking
The Lady Blues climbed one more spot in the ranking to No. 5 in the February 19 USA Today Sports national poll. Another ranking is scheduled to come out Tuesday afternoon.

The ranking marks a season high for Washburn and the highest ranking since being No. 4 in the third week of the 2010-11 season.

Washburn had been ranked sixth last week and was ninth the previous two weeks. Washburn has now been in the top 10 seven times this year.

The Lady Blues have been ranked in 169 of the last 170 polls, dating back to week three of the 2002-03 season. The final poll of the 2010-11 season was the last time Washburn was not ranked. This is Washburn's 122nd time in the national top 10.

Ashland lost for the first time this year and dropped to third. Bentley took over the top spot with Clayton State at No. 3. Colorado Mesa is No. 4 and Holy Family fell from fifth to sixth. Central Missouri is seventh and is the only other MIAA team in the ranking. Truman, Pittsburg State, Fort Hays State and Emporia State are all earning votes.

Lady Blues keeping recent opponents to under 55 points, lead MIAA and are fifth in nation in scoring defense
The Lady Blues have kept 13 straight opponents to 54 or less points and they are first in the MIAA and fifth in the nation allowing just 50.8 points a game. Washburn's field goal percentage defense of .333 was 10th lowest in the nation and first in the MIAA.

Fort Hays State is the last team to score above 54 as the Tigers got 60 on January 10 in Hays. Washburn has only allowed 60 or more five times this year with the 68 in a win against Emporia State on January 2 being the highest allowed this year.

Only four of Washburn's opponents have shot better than 40 percent. Northwest Missouri shot 50 percent on February 9 and 43 percent on February 16, Arkansas Tech shot .439 on November 24 and Northeastern State shot .435 on January 13. Washburn won three of those four games.

Kinderknecht named to Capital One Academic All-America second team
Senior guard Laura Kinderknecht was named to the Capital One Academic All-America second team as the teams were announced Wednesday by the College Sports Information Directors of America. Members of CoSIDA select the all-district teams and a national panel selects the All-America team.

Kinderknecht has a 3.84 GPA in mathematics. She's the fifth academic All-American in Washburn history and the first since Nikki Olberding won a second team honor in 1997-98. She's the first to win the honor under head coach Ron McHenry.

Kinderknecht moving up in record books
Laura Kinderknecht moved to third in career 3-pointers earlier this year and currently has 189, 28 away from second at Washburn. She's 10th with 296 assists and needs four more to become the seventh Lady Blue to reach 300 assists. She is also 31 points away from becoming the 22nd Lady Blue to score 1,000 career points.

With four assists, 11 3-pointers and 31 points, she will become the first Lady Blue to reach 1,000 points, 200 3-pointers and 300 assists.

Busy Senior Day scheduled for Saturday's regular season finale
Seven seniors return to this year's team and they will all be honored after Saturday's game against Central Missouri. Among them are three four-year players: Dana Elliott, Laura Kinderknecht and Laura McMullin. Two-year player Sami McHenry will play this year as her final while Stormye Everett, Sierra Moeller and Tiara George were all junior transfers last year.

Moeller is the leading returning rebounder with 6.7 a game last year but she will have to sit the first semester to save her final semester of eligibility. George is the leading returning scorer with 6.0 points a game. Kinderknecht scored 5.8 and Elliott scored 4.8 a game.

Coming Up Next
The regular season will wrap up Saturday at 5 p.m. against Central Missouri at Schendel Court in Lee Arena. That game will be televised on the MIAA Television Network (Kansas 22 for Cox Cable subscribers in Kansas). The seeds for the MIAA postseason tournament will be announced after that game.

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