Ichabods rebound after home loss

Michael Vander Linden / Washburn Review

 

The Washburn Ichabods basketball team had a perfect home record going into a Wednesday night’s game against Northwest Missouri State University.

However, its biggest test was just arriving, as the MIAA conference’s top-ranked Bearcats came ready to play.

Washburn started the game with tenacious defense, keeping the Bearcats at only one point through the first three minutes of the half.

The Bearcats fired back, however, as they would go on to score the next 14 points in a row. With an eight point lead, the Bearcats continued to match shot-for-shot with Washburn.

“They went with a smaller lineup throughout that run,” said Bob Chipman, Washburn head coach. “Our big guys struggled to keep up with them and we were just out of sync.”

 It was not until late in the first half that Washburn took a one-point lead. Yet, a layup for the opposing team put the Ichabods down 33-32 at half.

Northwest Missouri came out firing again, as they increased their lead to near double digits throughout the majority of early second half. However, the scoring run was answered later with back-to-back three pointers by the Ichabods. This cut the lead to four with 8:30 left to play.

With baskets going back and forth, it seemed as though Washburn was poised for the comeback victory. With one minute left, Washburn made a free throw to bring the score within one point.

With two made free throws for the Bearcats, the Ichabods had the chance of tying the game up with seconds left in the game. The Washburn inbounds pass was thrown high in the air, and the Bearcat defense took it away to lock up the win, 70-63.

“I thought they were trying to fail to not even let us get a three-pointer off,” said Chipman. “I was surprised there was nothing called on the inbounds pass.”

Will McNeill led the way for the Ichabods with 24 points. Bobby Chipman also had a big night, recording his first double double – 11 points and 10 boards.

It seemed as though the emotional loss to the Bearcats would affect them the following Saturday against Missouri Western.

The Griffons came out hot scoring four of their first six three-pointers of the game. The Ichabods happened to be on the negative end missing their first six attempts. In fact, Washburn was not able to successfully score until nearly 4:30 into the game.

With a maximum deficit of 10, the Ichabods seemed to wake up midway through the half and began their comeback. It took them a while to completely catch up, but a field goal at the halftime buzzer put the Ichabods up by one.

The game continued to be tight, with both teams scoring in runs throughout the entire second half. However, Washburn would never give up the lead throughout the entire half. It was McNeill leading the team with 17 points alone in the half.

With the shot clock expiring with 1:30 left in the game, a 26-foot three pointer was nailed by McNeill to put them up by four. After a turnover by the Griffons, McNeill was able to ice the game with a pair of free-throws and the Ichabods came away with the win 64-55.

McNeill led the team with 26 points. Chipman added in 19 points and 8 rebounds.

The Bods (14-6, 8-4) return to action tonight at 7:30 in Kirksville, Mo., against Truman State University (6-14, 4-9) before returning home Saturday for a 3:30 p.m. showdown with Fort Hays State University (14-5, 8-5).