TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – After a hot start, the Washburn women’s basketball team fell cold in the second in third quarters before finding their groove again in the fourth to secure a 62-55 victory over Northeastern State on Thursday night. The Ichabods pick up their third-straight win and move up to 14-9 (8-6 MIAA) while the RiverHawks drop to 5-17 (3-12 MIAA).
The Ichabods jumped out to a commanding lead, shooting 6-for-6 from the field and scoring the first 13 points of the game. The RiverHawks didn’t score their first bucket until the 6:13 mark. Washburn pushed its lead to 16-2 before Northeastern State chipped away at the deficit with a 6-0 run. A three-pointer by Reagan Phelan put Washburn up by double-figures again and started a 7-2 run to end the first quarter. The Ichabods finished the first frame shooting 64.3 percent (9-for-14) and led 23-10.
The tables turned in the second quarter as Washburn struggled and was outscored 18-8. Northeastern State started the second stanza with eight unanswered points and held Washburn scoreless until the 6:42 mark when Hayley Thompson hit two free throws. The RiverHawks whittled Washburn’s lead down to one point twice in the final two and a half minutes, but Phelan had the last say of the first half with a made jumper to give the Ichabods a 31-28 lead at the break.
The Ichabods made 10 trips to the charity stripe in the first half and made seven free throws, while the RiverHawks didn’t attempt a single free throw.
Both teams got off to a slow start in the second half with Washburn holding a slim lead until Northeastern State went on an 8-0 burst to take a 38-34 advantage with 3:28 on the clock. Bentley scored the next four points for the Ichabods to even the score at 38-all. The RiverHawks were fouled on the next possession and made both free throws on just their second trip to the free throw line of the game. A Macy Doebele layup with two minutes left would knot up the score at 40-40, which is where the score stood at the end of the third quarter.
The RiverHawks reclaimed the lead early in the fourth frame on a 7-2 run to go in front, 47-42. A timely three-pointer by Phelan ignited an 11-0 tear as the Ichabods flipped the score in their favor, 53-47, and held the RiverHawks scoreless for over four minutes. Northeastern State continued to fight and got within two points at 55-53 with 1:20 remaining in regulation, but the Ichabods cashed in on seven of eight free throw attempts to seal the 62-55 win.
Washburn shot 37.5 percent (21-of-56) from the field while Northeastern State shot slightly better at 39.3 percent (24-of-61). The Ichabods were 3-of-17 from behind the arc and the RiverHawks finished 2-for-11 from distance. The Ichabods finished with a big advantage at the charity stripe, going 17-for-24, to the RiverHawks’ 5-for-6 total, which were all in the second half.
Piggie led five Ichabods in double-figure scoring with 13 points. Phelan and Bentley chipped in 12 each. Alexis McAfee was 5-for-6 from the charity stripe en route to 11 points and she and Bentley both grabbed nine rebounds and dished out four assists. Hayley Thompson was 4-for-4 from the field and made both of her free throw attempts to finish with 10 points.
Washburn will wrap up its week in Oklahoma against Rogers State (4-20, 2-13 MIAA) on Saturday, Feb. 15, at 2 p.m.
Courtesy: Washburn Athletics