KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The MIAA quarterfinal matchup between the No. 8-seed Washburn and the top-seed and No. 15-ranked Central Missouri was a battle from start to finish as there were 14 lead changes and seven tied scores throughout the game. The Ichabods, however, were unable to complete the upset on Thursday afternoon and fell to the Jennies, 65-61. Central Missouri (25-4) will advance to the semifinal game tomorrow while Washburn’s season ends with a record of 18-12.
The Jennies made the first basket 25 seconds into the game, but Washburn answered with seven-straight points. Alexis McAfee hustled for an offensive rebound and then buried a three-pointer to make it 7-2 with 6:25 on the clock. Central Missouri responded with a 6-0 run to go in front, 8-7. The two teams traded buckets and tied the score at 10 and 12 before the Ichabods ended the opening quarter on a 7-4 run to lead 16-14.
The second period started off slow offensively for both teams as the first basket wasn’t scored until the 7:41 mark when Reagan Phelan hit a three-pointer to make it 19-14 in favor of Washburn. The Jennies fought back and scored seven of the next nine points to take a one point lead at 22-21. The three ball came just in time again for Washburn as Shelbe Piggie hit one to retake the lead yet again, 24-22. The Ichabods closed out the first half on a 4-0 mini run to take a 28-27 lead into the break.
The score stayed close to start the second half, with neither team leading by more than three points until Central Missouri started a 9-0 run at the 4:42 mark with back-to-back and-one plays. Phelan hit back-to-back three-pointers in the final minute to get the game back within two, 48-46, before the Jennies made a jumper as time expired and pushed their lead to four.
Central Missouri scored the first three points of the final stanza while Washburn was held scoreless until Piggie’s triple at 6:51 to make it 53-49. Sabela Reigosa made a layup followed by two free throws by Hunter Bentley as Washburn cut the deficit to two, 55-53, with 4:28 left in regulation. The Jennies went on a 6-2 run to extend their lead to six, 61-55. A jumper by Phelan with 24 seconds left made it a three-point difference at 62-59. Washburn began to foul in order to stop the clock and the Jennies hit three of their four free throw attempts. Bentley scored the final points of the game with a layup in the final seconds to make it 65-61. Of the 15 fourth quarter points scored by UCM, nine were on free throws.
Washburn finished with a 37 percent field goal percentage (20-of-54) and made 7-of-14 from beyond the arc while Central Missouri shot 41.8 percent (23-of-56) from the floor and made just 1-of-20 from deep. The Jennies out rebounded the Ichabods, 37-30, and had 18 second chance points from 12 offensive boards. Central Missouri made 27 trips to the free throw line and made 18 of those while WU was 14-of-15 from the charity stripe. The Ichabods led for 14:45 of the game.
In her final game as an Ichabod, McAfee led the team with 19 points and had eight rebounds to go with two blocks. She was also a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line. Phelan closed out her storied career at Washburn with 16 points, draining three triples, and had four assists. Bentley contributed 10 points and grabbed a team-high nine boards. Piggie, also a senior, scored eight.
Morgan Fleming led all scorers with 20 points after shooting 6-of-15 from the field and making 8-of-12 from the charity stripe.
Courtesy: Washburn Athletics