Mules Pull Away from Ichabods

The Washburn women’s basketball team kept things close in the first half against the 22nd-ranked Central Missouri Jennies and trailed by four points at the half, but the Jennies pulled away in the second half to take the 83-68 victory. The loss snaps the Ichabods’ three-game winning streak and they are now 11-9 (4-6 MIAA) while the Jennies remain undefeated in conference play and improve to 17-3 (11-0 MIAA).

The game was much closer than the score suggests as the Ichabods were a part of seven lead changes and eight tied scores in the first half. The Ichabods shot 40 percent or better from the field in all four quarters and finished with a 45.8 field goal percentage (27-of-59) while UCM shot 43.5 percent (30-of-69). The difference, however, was that the Jennies dominated on the glass with a 44-29 rebound advantage and pulled down 25 offensive boards that they turned into 28 points. They also made 11 more trips to the free throw line, connecting on 16-of-21 attempts from the charity stripe while Washburn was 7-for-10. Both teams hit seven triples as Washburn was 7-for-20 while Central Missouri went 7-for-29 from distance.

Both teams battled back and forth in the first frame as neither team led by more than three points while there were also seven tied scores. Washburn put together a 6-0 scoring run to take a 21-18 lead with just under a minute left in the first quarter, but Central Missouri responded with three-straight points to tie up the game at 21-all. Central Missouri reclaimed the lead early in the second quarter with two made free throws off a technical foul and led by as many as seven points in the frame before Washburn trimmed it back down to four, 41-37, at the half.

The Ichabods found themselves trailing by seven again at the 7:18 mark in the third, but the Washburn defense held Central Missouri scoreless for over two minutes while they went on a 6-0 spurt to get within one, 47-48. Central Missouri then exploded on a 14-1 scoring tear to break open the game and take a 62-48 advantage with one minute remaining in the third. The Jennies finished out the game on a 12-5 run to stay undefeated at home and in conference play.

Shelbe Piggie led four Ichabods in double-figure scoring with 19 points after shooting 7-for-12 from the field and 3-for-5 from behind the arc. Alexis McAfee was 5-for-10 from the floor and finished with 12 points. Hayley Thompson and Hunter Bentley each contributed 10 points. Bentley also grabbed team-best six rebounds and had two blocks.

Washburn will host Missouri Southern (Feb. 6) and Pittsburg State (Feb. 8) next week.