TOPEKA, Kan. — The Washburn Ichabods used a late scoring rally and solid defense to hand Central Oklahoma its first road loss of the season on Thursday night in a 63-60 victory in Lee Arena. Washburn moves to 9-8 (3-5 MIAA) while Central Oklahoma drops just its second conference game of the season and is now 14-4 overall and 8-2 in MIAA games.
The Ichabods held a two point lead at the break, 27-25, but a 5-0 run by the Bronchos to start the second half gave Central Oklahoma a lead they would hold until the final 98 seconds of regulation. Hunter Bentley made a jump shot to get Washburn within one at the 2:08 mark and on UCO’s next possession, Washburn was able to draw a crucial offensive foul. The Ichabods capitalized on the turnover as Reagan Phelan connected on a triple to put Washburn in front, 59-57. The Bronchos knotted up the score at 59-all with a pair of made free throws.
With 53 seconds left, Shelbe Piggie hit a jumper to put Washburn back on top. The Washburn defense cracked down yet again on the next possession and the Bronchos committed another turnover from a charge. Phelan made one of two free throws with 13 seconds left to give Washburn a 62-59 advantage. Central Oklahoma was forced to foul as time was running out and found Alexis McAfee with six seconds left. McAfee missed both free throws and the game stayed within one possession.
The Ichabods defended a little too close on the next possession as it was Wasburn who committed the next foul and sent the Bronchos to the line with five seconds left. Micayla Haynes made the first free throw to make the score 62-60. Haynes attempted to hit the edge of the rim in the hopes of a quick basket off a rebound to tie the game, but the ball never hit the rim and the Ichabods took over. Phelan was fouled with four seconds left and made the first free throw to make it a three-point game again. She missed the second, but Central Oklahoma was unable to get a shot off and the Ichabods claimed the 63-60 decision.
The Ichabods finished the game shooting 40.8 percent from the field (20-of-49) and 35 percent from three-point land (7-of-20) while the Bronchos shot 39.3 percent from the floor (22-of-56) and went 6-for-21 from behind the arc (28.6 percent). Washburn made 24 total trips to the free throw line and converted on 16 attempts while UCO went 10-for-15 from the foul line. Washburn won the battle of the boards, pulling down 38 rebounds to Central Oklahoma’s 30.
Bentley paced the Ichabods with 18 points and pulled down six rebounds to go with three steals. McAfee chipped in 16 points and Phelan scored 10, with both also grabbing six boards apiece. Piggie was 6-of-11 from the field and totaled 13 points and dished out a team-high four assists.
The Ichabods take on Newman for the first time as an MIAA opponent on Saturday, Jan. 25. Tip-off in Lee Arena is set for 1 p.m.
Courtesy: Washburn Athletics