After winning three games on the road, the Emporia State Women’s basketball team beat Truman State 67-58 Sunday at home.
The Hornets are ranked fourth in the ESPN/USA Today/WBC Coaches Poll this week. This is the 82nd straight week the Hornets have been ranked in the Coaches Top 25 since appearing in the 1997-98 pre-season polls.
Coming into the match up, the Hornets had won six games in a row with an overall record of 17-2 and a home record of 10-1.
On the other side, Truman State had a conference record of 1-11 and an overall record of 4-15. The Bulldogs came into the match up after a loss to Pittsburg State last Wednesday.
Last time these two teams played was earlier in the season at TSU where the Hornets won 83-72.
Midway through the first quarter, the Hornets were up 14-8 with junior guard Sophia Lenard scoring nine unanswered points, with 13 points on the night. The Hornets struggled by giving up 27 points off of turnovers.
“We needed to cut our turnovers down,” said senior guard Andrea Leiker. “I think we were so excited to be back in William Allen White auditorium and we were playing such a fast game that we just threw it all over the place.”
At half time the Hornets were on top 40-29, scoring 57 percent of their shots. On the other side, the Bulldogs struggled on offense, making 11-31 of their shots.
“I did feel better about our defense as a whole,” said Head Coach Brandon Schneider. “We made a couple of mistakes in defending Mueller but as a whole we did a pretty good job.”
With five minutes left in the game, Leiker helped extend the Hornet lead to 63-52, making 14 points on the night. The Hornets completed 39 percent of their shots with Leiker and Lenard scoring double digits on the night.
The Hornets’ bench made an impact, scoring 21 points on the night, while 32 of the Hornets’ points were made in the paint.
“We do not want to turn it over anymore,” said junior guard Lacy Corker. “We want to make plays and do things on the offensive end and that is what we started doing and coming off of the bench and play my hardest and show that I can play like the starting five can and we were doing that and we had a run.”
The Hornets are now 18-2 in overall play and 12-1 in the MIAA. The Hornets are ranked first in MIAA as well as first in offensive points and third in defensive points after winning last night’s game. The Hornets leave the game clinching a birth in the MIAA tournament.
ESU will play at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday against Central Missouri at White Auditorium.
Cristian Echeverria/The Bulletin