TOPEKA, Kan. – The Lady Blues held the 13th-ranked Jennies to 26 percent shooting and just two 3-pointers in a 59-53 win on Senior Day Saturday at Schendel Court at Lee Arena. The win locked up the MIAA title outright for Washburn and the No. 1 seed in the MIAA postseason tournament.
The fifth-ranked Lady Blues (22-4, 16-2 MIAA) will play Friday at noon in Kansas City, Mo., in Municipal Auditorium in the second round of the MIAA tournament against the No. 9 Northwest Missouri/No. 8 Missouri Southern winner. That game will be played in Joplin on Tuesday.
Lavonda McCall had a season-high 21 points as she was 5 of 7 from the field and 11 of 14 from the free throw line. Her free throw makes and attempts were also season highs. She also added eight rebounds and three assists to lead the team.
The Lady Blues built a 12-point lead in the first half but never led by more than six in the second half until a 7-1 run in the final minutes. Keuna Flax hit two free throws for the Jennies with 3:55 left to cut Washburn's lead to 52-49. The 7-1 run then began when Tiara George then hit two jumpers with a McCall free throw in between them. After Flax hit a free throw, Laura Kinderknecht hit two free throws to give Washburn a 59-50 lead with 56 seconds remaining.
Dana Elliott secured a defensive rebound with 35 seconds to go but after two missed Washburn free throws, UCM hit a 3-pointer with 13 seconds left to get the Jennies within six. They got no closer after that.
Washburn ended shooting 40 percent from the field while the Jennies were 26 percent after shooting 24 percent in the second half. They made just one 3-pointer in each half to go 2 of 25 from long range.
Laura McMullin was Washburn's second leading scorer with a season-high nine points off the bench. She was 4 of 5 from the field. She joined fellow seniors Kinderknecht, Elliott, George, Sierra Moeller, Stormye Everett and Sami McHenry as they were honored with the Senior Day ceremony after the game. The Lady Blues also received their MIAA trophy and cut down the nets after the men's game.
The Jennies won the rebound battle, 44-40 and had seven turnovers while Washburn had 10. Washburn had seven blocked shots while Central Missouri had two.
A 10-2 run midway through the first half gave the Lady Blues a game-high 12-point lead at 19-7. The Jennies quickly cut it to single digits and then tied it at 21-21 with 4:46 to play in the half. McMullin scored Washburn's last six points of the half to give her team a 29-25 lead at halftime.
Flax led the Jennies with 18 points and BreAnna Lewis had a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. She finished 0 of 13 from 3-point range.