Washburn women’s basketball falls short on Pink Out day

Saturday, Feb. 2 was the annual Pink Out game for the Washburn basketball teams, but the women left feeling blue. After struggling to gain any traction all day against the Lindenwood Lions, a 14-point first quarter deficit proved to be too big of a hole to get away. 

It was another slow start for the Ichabods as they had difficulty slowing the Lindenwood attack. The Lions missed only three shots through the first half of the first quarter.

Meanwhile, Washburn didn’t shoot the ball poorly but still struggled to get shots up. Lindenwood methodically built their lead from 14-6 up to 21-7.

Rebounding plagued Washburn as they struggled on the glass giving the Lions second chances.

Washburn failed to score for nearly four and a half minutes from the 5:28 mark to 1:21 left in the opening quarter.

Sophomore guard Hunter Bentley found the bottom of the net with two seconds remaining in the quarter, but Washburn trailed 26-11 after one.

Ichabods outscored the Lions in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 10. It was the defense that started to change the tide. The Bods forced Lindenwood into more contested shots, which allowed the offense to get out in transition and led to easier looks at the basket.

Bentley was the one taking advantage in transition as eight of her 10 first half points came in the second quarter.

Washburn made a run midway through the second quarter that saw them draw within four at 28-24, but that was as close as they got as Lindenwood responded to lead 36-26 at the half.

The energy of junior Alexis McAfee kept Washburn within striking distance early in the third quarter. McAfee was active on defense forcing turnovers and found the ball in her hands on offense scoring twice close to the basket and stepping out behind the three-point line once.

“I feel like defense is a major part of the game, even more than offense,” said McAfee. “If you get defensive stops they can’t score so that really prompts me to want to get a stop.”

No matter what Washburn did they couldn’t close the gap. Every time the Ichabods made a run Lindenwood struck back to keep the lead around 10. They led going into the fourth quarter 51-39.

Self-inflicted wounds seemed to haunt Washburn all day.

“They were just out rebounding us and out toughing us and it took us too long to decide to play with them and decide to fight back, so that’s just kind of what got us today,” Bentley said. 

The fourth quarter continued to follow the same story. The Bods again drew within six or eight but couldn’t get the crucial stop on defense to really turn the tide.

Lindenwood found their stroke from behind the three-point line late in the game when Washburn went to a half-court trap in an attempt to force turnovers. The three’s stretched the lead and eventually a final score of 72-56.

The loss drops Washburn to 14-6 overall and 9-2 in the MIAA. The Ichabod women will take the court again at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6 at Central Missouri.