Western Women played the No. 9 ranked Washburn Lady Blues tough in the first half. The second half was a completely different story as the Lady Blues handed the Griffons a 65-48 loss on the road.
The Griffons fell to 13-8 overall and 6-7 in MIAA conference play.
Heather Howard led the Griffons with 14 points, five steals and four rebounds. Alicia Bell and Brittany Griswold both added seven points and three rebounds. Western came out shooting well leading the Lady Blues 12-9 and played great defense. After that 12-9 lead Western would never lead again in the game.
“We just stopped making shots,” coach Rob Edmisson said.
In the first half Western made only 8 field goals, they shot 36 percent from the field.
“We have to finish shots,” Heather Howard said.
With only making eight field goals in the first half Western still only trailed 20-26 at halftime.
Missouri Western forced the Lady Blues to 29 turnovers in the game.
“It was kind of dishearting when you take the best team in the conference top 10 team in the country and force them into 29 turnovers and not being able to capitalize on that and not being able to win the game,” Edmisson said.
In the second half Washburn came out blazing, outscoring the Griffons 39-28 and holding the Griffons to a 26 percent field goal percentage on 9-for-34 shooting.
“We got a lot of offensive woes,” Edmisson said.
The Lady Blues shot 59 percent in the second half.
“It’s really disappointing to work that hard on defense and execute our gameplan and give up wide open shots,” Alicia Bell said.
The Lady Blues largest lead was 23 at the 2:37 mark. They had three players scoring in double-digits while Western only had one player scoring double-digits.
Missouri Western had 14 points off the Lady Blues 29 turnovers. The Lady Blues out-rebounded Western 39-20. Western shot 17-for-56 30.4 percent field goals and went 6-17 and shot 35.3 percent from the 3-point line. With this loss, Western has dropped its second consecutive game. The Griffons will have a week long rest to prepare for Washburn.
“It will freshen up our legs and will help them physically and mentally,” Edmisson said.
The Griffons are currently ranked No. 8 in the MIAA conference with a record of 6-7 with four games left to play. Western will try to get back on track for the remainder of the regular season after losing five of its last six games after getting off to a fast start.
Howard has been the leader of the team all season long, averaging team-high in rebounds and points with 13.8 and 9.8 rebounds per game.