TOPEKA, Kan. – The 17th-ranked Lady Blues held a 2-0 advantage before the ball was tipped and led every second in a 92-52 win over Southwestern (Kan.) Wednesday night to start their season.
Washburn won its 14th straight season opener and will continue its six-game, home stand with a 7 p.m. game Tuesday against Drury.
The Moundbuilders were charged with a technical foul for failing to notify the scorer's table of a uniform change before the tip off. Laura Kinderknecht hit two free throws and Washburn won the jump ball and scored on a lay-up from Tiara George to go up 4-0. They quickly built it to 10 at 12-2 four minutes in and led by double digits the rest of the way.
George went 9 of 11 from inside for a career-high 19 points. She also grabbed eight rebounds. Bianca Fennessee, playing her first game as a Lady Blue, matched George with 19 points off the bench as she shot 7 of 11 from inside. She added five rebounds and three blocks.
Kinderknecht hit a pair of 3-pointers and ended with 10 points and four assists. Dana Elliott had a career-high eight assists to lead Washburn. Brittney Lynch led on the boards with 10 rebounds to reach double figures for the first time in her career.
The Lady Blues shot 45 percent in the game after a 51 percent start in the first half. They were 71 percent from the free throw line and hit 4 of 16 3-pointers. They tied a school record going back to 1982 with 68 rebounds, doubling Southwestern's total of 34.
Southwestern (2-3 after playing the game as an exhibition) shot 27 percent in the game. Zefiryn Bryan led the team with nine points and Jana Reichenberger had eight rebounds.
Lavonda McCall scored four straight points during Washburns initial 12-2 run and ended with eight in her Lady Blues debut. The three freshmen, Jordan Baldwin, Haley Pfau and Jordan Kramer all got in the game and scored their first points as Lady Blues. Baldwin and Kramer each hit a 3-pointer.