NSU (women) 51, Washburn 43
Defense was the name of the game for the Northeastern State and Washburn women on Saturday at Jack Dobbins Field House.
The RiverHawks held the No. 9 team in Division II to a season-low in points and shooting in handing the Lady Blues their first loss in MIAA Conference action 52-43.
Washburn was second in the MIAA in scoring, averaging 67.9 points per game while NSU was holding opponents to 53.9 points per outing, third in the MIAA right behind the Lady Blues’ 53.7 points per contest. The 43 points was Washburn’s lowest output since being held to 41 against Missouri Western on Dec. 19, 2010.
“They have come back in these situations so we knew it was going to be tough,” said NSU women’s coach Randy Gipson. “We had some bad moments in the first 10 minutes of the second half but then we matched and figured out what we needed to do to win the game.”
Early on, it looked like the RiverHawks (11-5, 5-2 MIAA) would run away with the contest as they raced out to 27-15 advantage with 5:00 remaining in the first half on the strength of Taylor Lewis’ 12 first-half points.
Washburn, who suffered their first MIAA loss and dropped to 5-1 in league play, 11-3 overall, closed the half on an 11-5 run to trim its deficit to 32-23 at the break.
NSU opened the second half by stretching its lead to 38-23 at the 17:55 mark but saw the Lady Blues begin to chip away. By the time of the final media timeout of the second stanza, Washburn had whittled its deficit to 46-43.
“This feels awesome,” Lewis said. “Coach just told us to stay with our plan and to force them into bad looks. They’re a great team and it’s great win for our team.”
Lewis led all scorers with 22 points while Tosha Tyler finished with 10 points. No one finished in double figures for Washburn.