Piggie and Phelan lead Women’s Basketball over Lincoln

Tough, gritty play led the Washburn women to victory over Lincoln University Wednesday, Jan 31.

Both teams came out shooting efficiently, which saw both teams putting points on the board early. Lincoln hit five of their first seven shots which saw them lead halfway through the first quarter 12-10.

The latter half of the first quarter was played rather sloppily as neither team could seem to keep possession of the ball. Lincoln found some easy buckets underneath the basket to stretch the lead to 18-11. Junior guard Shelbe Piggie scored on an offensive rebound to cut the deficit to five, which is where it stayed to end the quarter trailing 18-13.

That bucket seemed to energize Piggie and the Ichabod offense as she would hit three shots early in the second quarter, one of which was a three, to help grab the lead 25-24 midway through the quarter.

“You just lock in, be there for your team when they need it, they pass you the ball and you just make sure you’re ready to hit it,” said Piggie. 

The shooting percentage began to drop for the Blue Tigers while Washburn trended the other direction as they were able to work the ball through post players, senior Nicole Murugarren and junior Annette Warner, to find short jump shots in which senior Taylor Blue was able to take advantage.

Good offensive rebounding and mid-range shooting combined with stifling defense saw the Ichabods stretch the lead and take a 41-30 lead into the halftime locker room.

“I feel like when we picked it up on defense it started to come to us on offense and we just need to do that more,” said Piggie.

Piggie was the game’s leading scorer at the half with 14 followed by Blue’s 11.

Three-pointers reigned supreme to start the second half as both teams traded baskets. For Washburn it was junior guard Reagan Phelan hitting two of the four early trifectas.

Junior Alexis McAfee and sophomore Hunter Bentley also chipped in to keep the double digit lead halfway through the quarter at 55-43.

Lincoln continued to cut into the lead with the use of the three ball as they drew within 59-52. Piggie converted on a pair of free throws to close out the third quarter and Washburn took a 61-52 lead into the fourth.

The offense had trouble finding its stride in the fourth, which allowed Lincoln to continue chipping away at the lead. By the media timeout with just under 4:30 minutes remaining, the Ichabod advantage dwindled to three, 65-62.

Lincoln got the deficit down to one, but that was as close as they came. Phelan hit a pair of clutch threes and the Bods put the game away at the foul line hitting their foul shots down the stretch.

Lincoln did their best to fight and stay in the game with a couple of bizarre three-pointers, which forced Washburn to make foul shots. The Bods converted at the charity stripe and finished off a 79-73 win.

According to Blue it was one of those “grind it out” games, especially with Lincoln’s top two players playing well.

“Yeah, definitely wasn’t always easy. Their two go-to players just went off. It was definitely a challenge trying to hold them down, no. 32 especially,” Blue said. “You could tell by her shot, [and] you could be right in front of her face and she’s still going to throw it up.”

Washburn improves their record to 14-5 overall and 9-1 in the MIAA and will fight to stay at the top of the conference when they face Lindenwood at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2.