The Lady Blues will return from their 13-day holiday break with a 5:30 p.m. game January 2 in Lee Arena against Emporia State.
The game will be a non-conference game as the two teams are only set to play one MIAA contest in the unbalanced MIAA schedule.
The two teams will be looking to bounce back after losses in holiday tournaments before their winter breaks. Washburn (6-2) will be looking to end a two-game skid after falling to Western Washington and Wisconsin-Parkside in the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic in Las Vegas. Emporia State (4-4) lost its last game, 74-67 to Abilene Christian, in the final game of the West Texas A&M Classic.
This will be the 88th meeting in the series between the two schools and Washburn will be hoping to tie the record. Emporia State leads the series, 44-43.
Washburn will then resume action January 5 at Central Oklahoma as the Bronchos are playing their first season in the MIAA.
Climb in national poll continues with No. 6 ranking
The Lady Blues continued their climb up the national poll with a No. 6 ranking in the December 18 USA Today Sports national coaches' poll.
The Lady Blues have been ranked in 162 of the last 163 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 117th time in the national top 10.
Additional MIAA teams in the week's ranking include No. 10 Fort Hays State and No. 17 Pittsburg State. Central Missouri and Central Oklahoma received votes in this week's poll.
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.
George and Kinderknecht open season with high-scoring games
Senior forward Tiara George leads the Lady Blues with 15.5 points a game and senior guard Laura Kinderknecht is second with 14.4 points a game. Both players had scored in double figures until the December 19 loss to Wisconsin-Parkside. No Washburn player reached the 10-point mark in that game.
Both players reached career highs this year. Kinderknecht had 27 points December 6 against Southwest Baptist and George had 22 points against Arkansas Tech on November 24 with a 10 of 13 performance from the field.
Lady Blues go 6-0 at home to start the season
The Lady Blues started the year with six straight wins in Lee Arena, including four over NCAA II competition. Washburn out-scored opponents, 74.0-51.0 in the six games. Tiara George led Washburn with 17.0 points a game and 9.2 rebounds and she shot 65 percent from the field. Laura Kinderknecht averaged 16.0 points a game.
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
MIAA action will resume January 5 with a 1:30 p.m. game at Central Oklahoma. This is the Bronchos first season as a member of the league. Washburn is 4-2 all-time against UCO and the last three meetings have come in the NCAA tournament.