TOPEKA, Kan. – The Lady Blues led by double figures for most of the second half as they beat Pittsburg State, 58-44 Saturday night at Schendel Court at Lee Arena.
Washburn held its fourth straight opponent and sixth in the last seven to under 50 points and improved to 15-3 overall and 9-1 in the MIAA. The Gorillas fell to 12-7 and 6-5 in the league and lost their 12th straight to Washburn in Lee Arena.
Laura Kinderknecht held high-scoring honors for the 12th time this year with 15 points. She was 5 of 10 from the field and hit three 3-pointers. Sierra Moeller made 3 of 5 field goals and all four of her free throw attempts as she scored 10 points. Stormye Everett had a career-high 11 rebounds as she reached double figures for the first time in her career.
The lead went back and forth the first 10 minutes of the game. The Gorillas made two early 3-pointers to take a 6-2 lead but a jumper from Tiara George gave Washburn a 7-6 lead two minutes later. There were three ties and a lead change after that before Kinderknecht hit a 3-pointer at the 10:12 mark that gave Washburn a 13-10 lead.
The Lady Blues went on to shoot 50 percent in the first half and maintain the lead the entire time after that. A 9-0 run gave them a double-digit lead with six minutes to play and Pitt cut it to a seven-point lead before Kinderknecht ended the half with two free throws to give Washburn a 28-19 lead in the locker room.
Wahsburn was 10 of 20 from the field and kept PSU to 22 percent shooting in the first 20 minutes.
A 3-pointer from Everett a minute into the second half gave Washurn a 10-point lead and the Lady Blues kept it at least that high for nearly the rest of the game. A layup from Moeller at the 15:49 mark made it a game-high 16-point lead at 39-23. The Gorillas cut it to nine points three times down the stretch but Washburn scored seven of the last nine points to secure the win.
The Lady Blues held Lizzy Jeronimus, the MIAA's leading scorer with 19 points a game, to 12 points as she was 2 of 12 from the field. Overall, the Gorillas shot 30 percent as a team and 33 percent from long range.
Washburn ended the game shooting 43 percent and 36 percent from 3-point range. The Lady Blues led in rebounding, 39-25 and had 15 turnovers while Pitt had 13. Washburn blocked five shots.
The Lady Blues are allowing just 45.7 points a game in the last seven games and 32 percent shooting from the field. They are 6-1 in that stretch and gave up just 52 points in the lone loss at Northeastern State. They have held 10 opponents to 50 or less points this year.
Washburn improved to 9-4 on Groundhog Day. This was the first time in the 13 games the Lady Blues played on Groundhog Day that Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow and predicted an early spring. The first 11 games were after a late winter prediction.