TOPEKA, Kan. – The 13th-ranked Lady Blues had three players with five assists and three players score in double figures in a 67-50 win over No. 25 Drury Monday night at Schendel Court at Lee Arena.
Washburn (2-0) will continue its six-game, season-opening home stand Friday in the Topeka Capitol Plaza Hotel Thanksgiving Classic. The Lady Blues will play Texas-Permian Basin at 6 p.m. Fort Hays State and Arkansas Tech will open the event at 4 p.m.
Washburn shot 54 percent from the field and held Drury to 34 percent shooting. The Lady Blues trailed for most of the first 14 minutes of the game but a late run in the half and a quick start to the second half helped them build a double-figure lead and run away in the 12th meeting between the two schools in the last 12 years. Washburn leads the non-conference rivalry, 9-3 and is 6-0 in Lee Arena against the Panthers (1-1).
Tiara George led the team again with 18 points. She shot 9 of 15 from the field and had eight rebounds. Bianca Fennessee also joined George in double figures for the second straight game with 14 off the bench. Laura Kinderknecht went 5 of 9 from the field for 13 points.
Kinderknecht was one of five Lady Blues with five assists. Dana Elliott and Casyn Buchman also distributed five helpers. Fennessee had four blocks and Buchman had three steals to lead Washburn.
George opened the game with a jumper but Katie Pritchard hit a 3-pointer to put the Panthers ahead. They kept the lead for over nine minutes but only built it as high as six points, 21-15 at the 11:16 mark. Washburn scored six straight after that to tie it and then there was one more tie before George's lay-up at 5:57 put Washburn up for good.
The Lady Blues led 33-26 at halftime after a 10-3 run. They pushed the lead to double figures at 15:39 on a lay-up from Fennessee and had a game-high 21-point lead with just under eight minutes as Kinderknecht hit a lay-up.
Washburn kept the Panthers 0 of 7 from 3-point range in the second half. The Lady Blues had their own trouble from outside, shooting just 1 of 6 in the game, but they controlled the inside game with 52 of their 67 points coming in the paint. The Panthers scored just 18 points inside.
Bethanie Funderburk led the Panthers with 12 points and Pritchard scored 10. No Panther had more than five rebound as they were beaten on the boards, 36-26 by Washburn.