Ichabods bounce back with two MIAA wins

Senior Lekheythan Malone rises about the Northwest Missouri defense to put in two of his 14 points. After losing their first two games of the season in Oklahoma, the Bods came back to win back-to-back MIAA contests.

Sheldon Warmington

After a disappointing show in Oklahoma, the Ichabods knew they had a lot of work in preparation for the upcoming games against Nebraska-Omaha and Northwest Missouri.

“In practice we worked extremely hard on defense and getting better as a team,” said senior Lekheythan Malone.

Last Wednesday’s game against the University of Nebraska Omaha was the first game for the Ichabods in conference play, and it proved to be extremely tough. The Mavericks came into the contest with a 4-0 record and an attitude to boot, and from the start, they were looking to attack the defense and make the WU offense work on the opposite end.

Senior Paul Byers and Lekheythan Malone, however, were not impressed and combined for 40 of the Ichabods’ 84 points, with Byers having a career night in scoring 26 points.

Another spark came from senior James Williams, who had his first home game after being absent for the first six games of the season because of administrative issues.

“It’s good to have James back, he gives us great defense and leadership on the court,” said coach Bob Chipman about his senior guard.

The true story of the game came from sophomore Nate Daniels. With three-tenths of a second remaining in the game, Daniels stepped to the line after being fouled. He hit the first of his two free throws, putting the Ichabods up by one point. He missed the second on purpose to run out the remaining time, and in so doing secured Washburn’s first conference win of the season.

In the week’s second contest, the Ichabods took on the No. 21 team in the nation, Northwest Missouri. The Bearcats were responsible for ending Washburn’s season last year, and came into Saturday’s game reeking of over-confidence as they ranted and screamed in the tunnel prior to the Lady Blues’ exit off the court.

The game started off with the Bearcats taking the early lead. However, it didn’t last long because the Bods quickly found their swagger. The second unit, behind William McNeill, jump-started the Bods’ defense and created noticeable separation between the two teams, leading to a 17-point lead with 3:10 left in the first half. By the end of the half, the Bods led 49-31. Malone led all scorers going into the half with 15 points while Byers had 10.

The second half wasn’t much different from the first, and Malone put an exclamation mark on the Ichabods’ already dominant performance with two thundering dunks. The game ended 80-59, pushing the Washburn win total to 2 – 0 in conference. Malone capped off his birthday by ending the game with 23 points and 10 rebounds for a career high in both categories.

Since transferring to Washburn in January, Covier Carter, a junior from Grand Rapids, Michigan, has been has been waiting patiently for his chance to represent the Ichabods. His wait will come to an end on Dec. 13 when the Ichabods take on Truman State in Kirksville, Mo. The Bulldogs are 0-2 in conference play.

“Covier brings great defense, speed and another viable option at the guard spot for us, and we are looking forward to seeing him out there,” said Chipman.

“I’m not going to try to do anything special,” Carter said about his upcoming debut against Truman. “I just want to do whatever it takes to win, I don’t care about the stats of the minutes. I just want to win.”