TOPEKA, Kan. - Nationally 13th-ranked Washburn bolted out of the gates to start the second half and went on to post a 67-50 victory over No. 25 Drury in women's college basketball action at Lee Arena on Tuesday night.
Drury, which moved from the "others receiving votes" category into the USA TODAY/ESPN Top 25 Coaches Poll late Tuesday afternoon, fell to 1-1 on the season, while the Lady Blues improved to 2-0 - and 6-0 against the Lady Panthers when they visit Topeka.
Coach Steve Harold's Lady Panthers were the aggressors early, building as much as a six-point lead (21-15) after two Emilie Gray free throws near the 11-minute mark of the opening half. But Washburn charged back and would grab a 33-26 lead by halftime, holding Drury without a field goal over the final five minutes of the half.
That surge continued to start the second half, as coach Ron McHenry's squad - leading 37-31 - put together an 8-0 run to lead 45-31 with 14:33 to go. Drury would get no closer than 12 the rest of the way.
Tiara George had 18 points - 16 coming in the opening half - to lead the Lady Blues, who received 14 points from Bianca Fennessee and 13 points from Laura Kinderknecht as Washburn outscored DU 28-6 in the paint in the first half and 52-18 for the game.
Sophomore post Emilie Gray scored a career-high 19 points off the bench to lead the Lady Panthers, hitting 8 of 12 shots from the floor and all three of her free-throw attempts.Bethanie Funderburk had 12 points and Katie Pritchard added 10 points for DU, which was plagued by cold shooting for a second straight game.
The Lady Panthers made just 18 of 53 shots (34 percent) from the field, including 3 of 15 on 3-point tries.
Washburn made 31 of 57 shots (54 percent) and held a 36-26 rebounding edge. Kylie Williamson led DU with five boards.
The Lady Panthers return to the O'Reilly Family Event Center this weekend to host the Doubletree Hotel Drury Thanksgiving Classic. Drury will entertain Northwestern Oklahoma State at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, then play Union at 5:30 on Saturday in the two-day event.
Friday's games - including the two men's games (with Drury taking on Central Oklahoma at 3:15 p.m.) before the Lady Panthers play - feature free admission for all fans as part of a "Free Friday" promotion that will include special giveaways at halftime of each DU game that day.