Washburn's second three-game road trip in the month of January will wrap up Saturday as the 14th-ranked Lady Blues travel to MIAA newcomer Lindenwood for a 1 p.m. game at Hyland Arena. The game will be head coach Ron McHenry's 400th in 13 years at Washburn. He entered the year as the winningest active coach in NCAA II.
The game will be carried on Country Legends 106.9 FM with Jake Lebahn and Mark Elliott calling the action.
No. 14 Washburn (12-3, 6-1 MIAA) will finish a streak of six out of seven on the road Saturday and then return home to play four straight in Lee Arena.
Washburn won Thursday, 70-44 at Lincoln to improve to 4-1 in January road games. The Lady Blues remain atop the MIAA standings as the only one-loss team. Three teams sit behind Washburn with two losses.
The Lions have been playing most of their games at home lately with six of the last seven in Hyland Arena. They have lost three straight after a 75-63 loss to Fort Hays State on Thursday.
The two teams have met just twice in school history, the last in 1999. Washburn is 2-0 in the series.
McHenry set to coach 400th career game
Washburn head coach Ron McHenry will coach his 400th career game, all with the Lady Blues, Saturday when they travel to Lindenwood.
He's gone 331-68 in his 13 years and with his .830 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 eight more this year to give him 12 out of 13. His teams have gone to 11 straight NCAA appearances with eight MIAA titles.
Lady Blues drop five spots to 14th in latest national poll
The Lady Blues' first MIAA loss of the season caused them a five-spot drop to 14th in the USA Today Sports national coaches poll released Tuesday. Washburn was ninth last week but remains the highest ranked MIAA team.
The Lady Blues have been ranked in 165 of the last 166 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.
Central Missouri is right behind Washburn at 16th and Pittsburg State is 18th. Fort Hays State dropped out of the ranking but joined Truman and Northeastern State in receiving votes in the poll. Previous opponent Western Washington is fifth in the nation.
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 second in the nation and first in the MIAA shooting 62% from the field
Senior forward Tiara George is shooting .617 from the field, second best in NCAA II and first in the MIAA when statistical reports were released Monday. She's shot 50 percent or better in all but two games and better than 70 percent four times. George was second on the team and 14th in the MIAA scoring 12.1 points a game. Lavonda McCall is right behind her shooting 60 percent, second best in the MIAA.
After the Lincoln game Thursday, George is averaging 11.4 points a game and shooting .615 from the field.
George is Washburn's leading returning scorer from last year but was scoring just 7.2 points a game in her first season at Washburn after transferring from Angelina Community College.
Lady Blues 4-1 in current road swing
The Lady Blues are about to play their final game on the road in a stretch of six out of seven played away from Lee Arena. Washburn started that stretch with a three-game road trip in early January. The Lady Blues then returned home for a home win then lost at Northeastern State and won at Lincoln.
Washburn went 3-0 during the first road stretch with a five-point win at Central Oklahoma, a three-point win at Fort Hays State and then a 29-point win at Nebraska-Kearney. They beat Lincoln by 26 points.
Laura Kinderknecht has scored at least 19 in four of the five games on the road and is averaging 17.6 points a game while shooting .464 from the field and .450 from 3-point range.
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 start a four-game home stand Thursday at 5:30 p.m. against Missouri Southern in Lee Arena. Washburn has won five straight against the Lions.