The Northeastern State women's basketball team ramped up the defense in a 52-43 upset win over No. 9 Washburn Saturday afternoon at Jack Dobbins Field House.
The RiverHawks (11-5, 6-2 MIAA) knocked off their second top 10 opponent of the season, after defeating then-No. 10 Fort Hays State 54-44 on Jan. 3. The defending conference champion Lady Blues (11-3, 5-1 MIAA) suffered their first loss in the MIAA this season.
WU was held to season-lows in field-goal percentage (18-for-58, 31 percent) and three-point percentage (2-for-17, 12 percent). The team was also just 5 of 10 from the free-throw line.
The Lady Blues were held to their lowest point total in more than two years as no member of the team reached double figures. They scored 41 against Missouri Western on Dec. 19, 2010.
Washburn senior guard Laura Kinderknecht entered the contest as the MIAA's third-leading scorer at 16.2 ppg. She was held to a season-low eight points after shooting just 3-for-16 from the field and 2-for-10 from beyond the three-point line.
Northeastern State senior guard Taylor Lewis dropped 22 points on 8-of-18 shooting. Fellow senior guard Tosha Tyler added 10 as the home side shot 44 percent from the field (20-for-46), 44 percent from downtown (8-for-18) and 4 of 5 from the line.
The RiverHawks jumped out a 16-5 lead in the game's first seven minutes and were able to sustain that advantage all the way up to the 20-second mark of the half. Casyn Buchman knocked down a jumper for Washburn to cut NSU's halftime lead to 32-23.
NSU maintained a 10-point edge at 43-33 with 13:03 remaining in the contest, but the Lady Blues went on a 10-3 run over the course of the next nine minutes to get within three.
The home side received a huge boost from freshman forward Melissa Jones, who knocked down a clutch jumper from the corner with 1:41 to play to give her team a five-point edge, allowing the RiverHawks to bleed out the clock and secure the win.
NSU will stay home for a game with No. 24 Pittsburg State at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 23.