Ichabods outrun Coyotes in double overtime season opener

Matt Resnick

The Washburn Ichabods men’s basketball team escaped with a narrow 77-72 double overtime victory against the Kentucky Wesleyan Coyotes in Washburn’s season opener last Wednesday night at Lee Arena. The Ichabods got off to a slow start falling behind 17-9 midway through the first half. The Ichabods later grabbed a 33-30 halftime lead when Frank Phifer, Washburn senior forward, hit a layup and converted the free throw.

“Let’s credit them, they played great,” said Bob Chipman, Washburn head basketball coach. “They drove it, they shot it, and they were hard to guard. They were basically playing five guards. They had us on our heels, there’s no question. I thought they outplayed us the first half. We have to play every possession to be good, and I don’t know if we did that tonight.”

The Coyotes frustrated the Ichabods in the second-half, holding them to four points in the first 12 minutes. This included a six minute scoreless drought. The Coyotes failed to pull away, however, and a 9-2 spurt by the Ichabods put them up by a point with 4:30 remaining.

The lead changed hands several times during the final minute of regulation. With 17 seconds left Paul Byers, Washburn sophomore forward, hit a layup to put the Ichabods up 56-55. With the clock at three seconds Coyote guard Trey Sims hit a desperation 3-pointer from deep in the corner giving the Coyotes a two point lead. The Ichabods were saved when Grant Hargett, junior guard, caught the inbound pass and was fouled 50 feet from the basket by Marcus Fabion, Coyotes forward. Hargett sank both free throws, sending the game into overtime.

With the Ichabods up by five points at the three minute mark the Coyotes went on a 7-2 run tying the game on a Faubion 3-pointer. Washburn had the last shot but Andrew Meile’s open 3-pointer misfired, and the game went to a second overtime.

Michael Williams, senior guard, scored five of the Ichabods first seven points in the second overtime, taking them to a 73-70 lead with one minute remaining. Faubion’s layup sliced the lead to one. Brady Sisk, Washburn junior forward, answered with a 2-pointer with 21 seconds left. Despite trailing by three points Anthody Smith, Coyotes guard, passed up a 3-point attempt instead dribbling into traffic and throwing up a wild layup that missed. The Coyotes were then forced to foul, and Hargett hit free throws sealing Washburn’s 77-72 double overtime victory.

The Ichabods will play in Las Vegas this Tuesday against the University Nevada-Las Vegas Runnin’ Rebels. UNLV is coached by former Kansas State University men’s basketball coach and longtime friend of Chipman, Lon Kruger. UNLV is led by Jo’Van Adams, sophomore guard, who is averaging 14.3 points per game this year.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity,” said Chipman. “It will be great getting to play in the Thomas Mack center in Vegas. They’re a quick team that’s going to get after you so we have to be ready.”