For the fifth time in nine years Emporia State has eliminated the host school in an NCAA tournament. The Lady Hornets defeated Washburn 65-58 to advance to the second round.
The game started out slowly with Washburn holding a 4-2 lead at the first media timeout. There were six ties and seven lead changes in the first half and Washburn took its biggest lead of the game at 23-19 with 3:29 left in the half. The Lady Hornets ended the half on a 9-2 run and took a 28-25 lead into the intermission.
Merissa Quick scored the first five points of the second half for Emporia State as they took a 33-27 lead with 17:27 left in the game. The Lady Blues cut the lead to two with 14:35 remaining when Rachel Hanf hit a 3-pointer to jump start a 7-0 run and give the Lady Hornets a 41-32 lead with 12:17 left.
Emporia State led by ten with 5:23 left when Washburn went on a 6-0 run to cut the lead to four at 52-48 with 3:46 left. Laura Patrick converted and old fashioned three-point play to give the Hornets a seven-point lead. After a Tiara George layup Patrick hit a 3-pointer to push the lead back to eight points and Rheanna Egli connected on two free throws for a 10-point lead with 1:37 left. Egli scored the final seven points for Emporia State, going 5 of 6 from the free throw line and hitting a lay-up as the shot clock expired with 39.2 seconds left.
Patrick had 20 points for Emporia State and was joined in double figures by Quick with 17 points and Egli with 16 points. Quick had a game-high nine rebounds. Egli held Washburn’s Laura Kinderknecht, the MIAA and Central Region Player of the Year, to just four points on 1 of 9 shooting from the field.
Emporia State will play the winner of the other semifinal between Arkansas Tech and Minnesota State-Mankato. The regional semifinal will take place at 7 p.m. on Saturday in Lee Arena on the Washburn campus.