The upset bid fell just short as the Washburn men’s basketball team lost to the No. 18 Northwest Missouri Bearcats 87-85 in double overtime last Wednesday in Maryville, Mo.
Frank Phifer, Washburn senior forward, scored a season high 32 points while shooting 12 of 13 from the field and pulling down 11 rebounds.
“This week was a great week for us with the win against Truman State, and then playing as complete of game as we had all year tonight,” said Bob Chipman, head men’s basketball coach. “We shot 55 percent from the field. We were able to get everybody involved. We played great, which resembled how we played earlier in the year against Kansas State before Kyle Snyder was hurt. I’m excited how we’re playing right now, I think we’re playing some of our best basketball.”
Washburn led 27-24 at halftime, and by as many as 11 points when they took a 50-39 lead after Mamadou Sy, junior forward, hit a layup with 11 minutes to play in the second half. Late in the second half the Ichabods led 59-52, but the Bearcats went on a 9-2 run to tie the game 61-61 with 1:20 remaining. Washburn had three shots during their final two possessions of the game, but came up empty forcing the game into overtime. Phifer scored Washburn’s final 11 points of the second half.
With 10 seconds to play in overtime and the Ichabods trailing 72-69, Reid Hein, Washburn junior guard, sank a 3-pointer to tie the score. The Bearcats misfired on a shot at the buzzer, and the game headed into the second overtime. With 2:37 remaining, Hein connected on another 3-pointer to close the Bearcat lead to 80-78. However, the Bearcats were clutch from the free throw line making 9 of 10 attempts to help push their lead to 87-82 with seven seconds remaining. Grant Hargett, Washburn junior guard, hit a 3-pointer with two seconds to play cutting the Bearcats lead to 87-85. Washburn was unable to get a steal as the final two ticks ran off the clock.
The loss dropped Washburn’s record to 8-16, and 4-11 in the MIAA. The Ichabods shot 55 percent from the field for the game, while making 10 of 13 free-throw attempts. The Bearcats shot 89 percent from the free-throw line for the game, making 24 of 27 attempts.
With Phifer scoring a season high 32 points, Hein also chipped in with 15 points. Henry Hunter, Bearcat forward, went for 33 points, going 13 for 14 from the charity stripe. This was the sixth time this season Washburn has gone into overtime, which includes a triple overtime loss to Kansas State University in an exhibition game.
“A double overtime performance against one of the top teams in the country, on the road, is still a pretty strong effort even though we lost,” said Michael Williams, senior guard. “Nobody’s giving up on the season, we’re still hanging in there.”