Ichabods fall to rival Emporia in final home game

Mike Ditch Jr.

There may have been a slight change to the script, but Kris Milburn still hit a buzzer beating 3-pointer to wrap up his playing career at Lee Arena. The slight change was the fact Washburn (10-14, 4-10) lost 65-55 to the Hornets from Emporia State (16-10, 6-7).

Milburn led the team in scoring with 16 points, while backcourt teammate Andrew Meile matched his season and career highs with 15 points. The Hornets’ Leroy Dawson came off the bench shooting 3-of-7 from beyond the arc to score 16 points.

“It was good to end with a bucket, but we still lost. I don’t have one memorable moment at Lee, just hanging with the team, and every game I played sticks in my mind,” said Milburn.

Those fans that stuck around for the men’s game were able to see a defensive clinic put on by both teams in the first half. There were seven combined fouls committed, a combined total of 34 percent shooting and 13 total turnovers, as both teams stepped it up on the defensive end. With both teams enduring scoreless streaks of three and four minutes throughout the half, neither team was able to really pull away from the other. The Hornets headed into the locker room with a 24-20 advantage.

“I think there were some early jitters with the large crowd that led to some of our mistakes. We need to improve at coming out better and being more prepared. We really got flustered at times out there instead of running the offense,” said Kyle Fisher, guard.

The intensity and hustle that kept the Bods close in the first half were nowhere to be found early in the second half, as the Hornets jumped out to an early 18-8 run and a 14-point advantage with 12 minutes left in the game. With urging from Coach Chipman to ratchet up the defense, the Bods were able to cut the lead to seven with eight minutes to go, but would get no closer, as cold shooting and Hornet free throws iced up the game.

“Coach kept telling us in the second half he was pleased with our defensive effort and that we need to run the offense better. We needed to match their intensity and had a lapse early in the [second] half,” said Fisher.

The Ichabods have a week off and are looking to get some practice time in to try and secure a place in the MIAA tournament. The loss put the Ichabods a half game behind Pittsburg State for the last spot in the tournament, and guarantees Chipman will have his first losing season. The Ichabods have two games left at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 22 at Northwestern Missouri and then 3:30 p.m. Feb. 25 at Central Missouri. The Ichabods need to win at least one and get some help from either Missouri Southern or Pittsburg State if they are to get into the tournament.

“We have to take advantage of this time off, and get everyone healthy, and work on the offense. Hopefully the rest will let us match intensity when we hit the road,” said Fisher.