Lady Blues Host Benedictine Monday In Final Non-Conference Tune-Up

By: WU, posted by Kinch O'Kelley
By: WU, posted by Kinch O'Kelley

The 12th-ranked Lady Blues will play their fifth straight home game Monday in Lee Arena as they host Benedictine at 7 p.m. Washburn improved to 4-0 with two wins over Thanksgiving weekend but will have had eight days off leading up to the BC game.

The Lady Blues beat Texas-Permian Basin 66-43 on November 23 and then topped Arkansas Tech 77-65 the next day. Benedictine is 11-1 after a win Saturday over Evangel. The Ravens will play this game as an exhibition.

The week will continue for Washburn Thursday at 5:30 p.m. against Southwest Baptist as those two teams open MIAA play. It will mark the end of Washburn's six-game home stand that started the season.

Tiara George has scored in double figures in all four games and had her first double-double with 22 points and 14 rebounds against ATU, both career highs. She's scoring 18.5 points a game.

Lady Blues continue climb with No. 12 national ranking
The Lady Blues climbed once again, this time one spot to 12th in the nation, as the USA Today Sports Coaches' Poll was released last Tuesday by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association. The Lady Blues were ranked 13th the last week and were 17th in the preseason poll.

The Lady Blues have been ranked in 159 of the last 160 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.

Pittsburg State remains the highest-ranked MIAA team at third in the country. Emporia State is 20th and Fort Hays State is 23rd, putting all four MIAA Kansas schools in the ranking and making them the only ranked MIAA teams. Non-conference opponent Western Washington is eighth and Wisconsin-Parkside is 16th. Central Missouri, Drury, Northeastern State, Missouri Western, Central Oklahoma and Truman are all receiving votes.

MIAA media and coaches pick Lady Blues to repeat as champions
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Lady Blues got more than half the MIAA coaches' top votes and won a close vote in the media poll as they were picked to finish first in both tallies during the preseason MIAA Virtual Media Day.

Washburn got eight of the 15 first-place votes from the coaches and eight of the 18 in the media poll. Pittsburg State was picked second in both polls with the Gorillas coming just three points short of the Lady Blues in the media poll.

Washburn won the MIAA last year with an 18-2 record. The Gorillas went 17-3. Pittsburg State took six first-place votes from the coaches and No. 3 Emporia State took the other. From the media, PSU tied Washburn with eight top votes and ESU, also third in that poll, took two.

MIAA newcomer Northeastern State was fourth in both polls followed by Fort Hays State and Central Missouri.

Strong inside game leads to four straight double-figure games for George
Washburn has played strong inside games in its first four competitions. Starting forward Tiara George is averaging 18.5 points a game and shooting 67 percent. Overall, Washburn has scored 164 of its 302 points (.543) in the paint.

Everybody plays, everybody scores
All 13 Lady Blues in uniform got into the game and scored in the season-opening 92-52 win over Southwestern on November 14. Junior transfers Lavonda McCall and Bianca Fennessee, as well as freshmen Haley Pfau, Jordan Baldwin and Jordan Kramer all scored their first points as Lady Blues.

Seniors Sierra Moeller and Sami McHenry did not suit up for the game. Moeller is sitting this semester to save her final semester of eligibility for the spring and McHenry just finished her junior year with the Lady Blues volleyball team last week. She is expected to join the basketball team this week.

Seven seniors return to lead Washburn
Seven seniors return to this year's team and 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 Lady Blues will finish their six-game, season-opening home stand Thursday at 5:30 p.m. against Southwest Baptist in Lee Arena. The game will be the MIAA opener for both squads. Washburn has won 10 straight against the Bearcats and 12 straight at home.

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