Lady Blues Wrap Up Home Stand With Pink Out Game Saturday

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

Lady Blues wrap up home stand with Pink Out game Saturday
The ninth-ranked Lady Blues will wrap up a four-game home stand when they host Northwest Missouri Saturday at 5 p.m. at Schendel Court at Lee Arena. The game will be Washburn's annual Pink Out game and fans are encouraged to wear pink to help raise awareness for breast cancer.

The game will be carried on Country Legends 106.9 FM with Jake Lebahn and Mark Elliott calling the action.

The Lady Blues kept their fifth straight opponent to under 50 points as they defeated Missouri Western, 65-48 on Wednesday. They moved to 16-3 overall and 10-1 in the MIAA to hold the conference's top spot. The win clinched a spot in the 12-team MIAA postseason tournament.

Northwest Missouri lost its second straight, 65-53 Wednesday at Fort Hays State and is 11-9 and ninth in the MIAA at 5-7.

The Lady Blues lead the all-time series with Northwest Missouri, 46-10 and have won the last 28 meetings in Lee Arena against the Bearcats.

Join the Lady Blues in wearing pink Saturday
The Lady Blues will host their annual Pink Out game Saturday against Northwest Missouri with St. Francis sponsoring the event. Fans are encouraged to join the Lady Blues and wear pink to the games to help raise awareness for breast cancer. Pink t-shirts will be given out to the first 500 fans and baked goods will be available with a suggested donation. St. Francis will also have an information table set up.

McHenry just coached 400th career game
Washburn head coach Ron McHenry coached his 400th career game, all with the Lady Blues, January 24 at Lindenwood.

He's gone 335-68 in his 13 years and with his .832 winning percentage, McHenry entered the year with the highest winning percentage in NCAA II among active coaches with at least five years of experience. He's second all-time (active or not) among coaches with at least 10 years.

McHenry has 11 20-win seasons and he needs five more wins this year to give him 12 out of 13. His teams have gone to 11 straight NCAA appearances with eight MIAA titles.

Lady Blues remain ninth in latest national poll
The Lady Blues kept their No. 9 ranking in the USA Today Sports national poll as the ranking was released Tuesday afternoon. Washburn has now been in the top 10 five times this year.

The Lady Blues have been ranked in 167 of the last 168 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 120th time in the national top 10.

Ashland remained the top team in the country and got all 32 first place votes with a 22-0 record. Previous opponent Western Washington is fourth in the nation. The Lady Blues remain the top MIAA team in the country with Central Missouri right behind at No. 10. Truman is 19th while Pittsburg State and Fort Hays State are earning 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.

Lady Blues have top two shooters in the MIAA
Tiara George and Lavonda McCall have battled the last few weeks for the MIAA lead in field goal percentage. McCall led the conference shooting .607 from the field when the week began and George was second shooting .601 from the field. George's field goal percentage was fifth in the nation while McCall has not shot enough to qualify for the NCAA national report.

George has shot 50 percent or better in all but three games and better than 70 percent five times. She's was second on the team and 21st in the MIAA scoring 11.3 points a game.

Lavonda McCall has shot 50 percent or better in all but five games and over 65 percent 12 times.

George is Washburn's leading returning scorer from last year but scored just 7.2 points a game in her first season at Washburn after transferring from Angelina Community College.

Lady Blues hold fifth straight opponent to under 50 points, lead MIAA and are fourth in nation in scoring defense
The Lady Blues have kept their opponents to less than 50 points nine times this year and are undefeated when doing so. They've done so five straight times and in seven of the last eight games. In the last eight games, Washburn is allowing just 46.0 points a game and 31 percent shooting from the field.

Overall, the Lady Blues were allowing 51.4 points a game when the week started to lead the MIAA. That total was the fourth lowest in the nation and Washburn's field goal percentage defense of .334 was 10th lowest in the nation.

Only two of Washburn's opponents have shot better than 40 percent. Arkansas Tech shot .439 on November 24 and Northeastern State shot .435 on January 13.

Kinderknecht named Capital One Academic All-District
Senior guard Laura Kinderknecht became Washburn's first academic all-district honoree since 1997-98 as she was named to the District 7 team by Capital One. She will move on to next week's Capital One Academic All-America ballot.

Nikki Olberding was Washburn's last academic all-district selection as she earned Capital One Academic All-America second team status in 1997-98.

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.

Lady Blues clinch spot in 12-team MIAA tournament
The Lady Blues clinched their 23rd straight trip to the MIAA tournament with their win Wednesday against Missouri Western. They have now qualified for every MIAA tournament since becoming eligible in 1990-91.

With the conference expanding to 15 teams, the tournament is now a 12-team event with the top four teams in the conference earning a bye to the quarterfinal rounds at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo., on March 8 with semifinals and the final in the two days following.

The Nos. 5 through 8 teams in the final MIAA standings will host Nos. 9 through 12 in on-campus play-in games on March 5.

Coming Up Next
The Lady Blues will return to the road with a rematch against Missouri Western Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. Washburn just defeated the Griffons, 65-48 and has won six straight in the series.

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