Bods hope to rebound from losses against rival

Mike Ditch Jr.

The Washburn men’s basketball team hopefully enjoys road trips, since the Bods play four out of their last five games on the road.

Their first journey took them to Pittsburg where they lost to the Gorillas 67-60. Sophomore forward Brady Sisk continued to lead the Bods scoring 25 points and seven rebounds. However, no one else for Washburn could crack the double-digit barrier in scoring. The Gorillas, led by guard Eddie Jackson with 26 points, also appeared to have three players who were wearing striped jerseys.

The first half saw the Gorillas jump out to an early 7-0 lead, only to see the Bods go on a 22-12 run late in the half. The Bods headed into the locker room with a 31-29 lead despite shooting one from seven beyond the arc.

The second half was marred by questionable calls, and Coach Chipman’s first technical foul of the year. Despite only having five more fouls than the Gorillas, the Bods attempted 14 less free throws for the game.

With eight minutes left in the game, the Gorillas had outscored the Ichabods by 18 points in the half and led by as much as 16 points. The Bods’ late surge, coupled with miserable free throw shooting by the Gorillas allowed the Ichabods to get as close as five points, but they were unable to ever fully recover.

The loss put the Ichabods in a tie for last place in the MIAA and on the bubble of making the conference tournament.

How do you hang with the No. 11 ranked team in the nation and first in your region? For the first half the Ichabods (10-13, 4-9) did it by hustling all over the court, however, they couldn’t maintain the energy and lost 76-63 to Southwestern Baptist (21-2, 10-2).

The Bods were led in scoring by sophomore Andrew Meile who matched his career high with 15 points in the loss. Freshman Paul Byers and senior Kris Milburn were the other Bods scoring in double digits, with 14 and 10 respectively.

Despite attempting nine less free throws than the Lions, the Bods were able to get to halftime only down one by causing 11 Baptist turnovers, six of which were steals.

However, the Ichabods did not have an answer for Baptist’s 7-foot-2 center Frans Steyn. The transfer from Oklahoma State scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half to help SBU run away from the Ichabods early in the second half. Steyn’s 63 percent shooting from the field, coupled with a Baptist 18-5 run in the second half sealed up the game for the Lions.

Baptist’s guard Sheldon Pace was the only other Lion to score in double digits with 16 points on 5-8 shooting from the field. With Missouri-Southern losing on the road, the Bods remain in a tie for last place in the conference. Only the top eight of the nine teams will make it to the conference tournament.

The Ichabods will return home Wednesday night to play Emporia State in their final home game of the year before they close out the regular season with a three-game road trip.

Despite lackluster attendance figures, the Bods have a 7-5 record in Lee Arena this season and have won their last two home contests.

In what will be Kris Milburn’s final home game, expect big things from the point guard. Milburn is averaging 12 points a game for the season, and over 17 points for the last three games when playing at home.

The main focus of the Hornet defense will have to be on stopping forward Brady Sisk. Sisk, who missed the early part of the season due to a calf injury and has been less than 100 percent for the last few weeks due to an ankle injury is still averaging over 16 points a game for the Bods. At Emporia State earlier this season, Sisk poured in 22 points and nine rebounds in the tight loss over winter break. Sisk leads the Ichabods in scoring, rebounds and field goals.

The most underrated player of the year is Dylan Channel, who has had two double-doubles this season, and leads the team in field goal percentage. Channel ,who was planning on redshirting this season after transferring from Barton County CC, found the starting lineup when forwards Frank Phifer and Kyle Snyder went down with injuries.

The game at Emporia State was played in front of over 4,000 fans at White Auditorium, which is nearly 2,000 more fans than the average attendance at Lee Arena this year.