Men’s basketball soars over RiverHawks with the help of the three ball

The men’s basketball team played host to the Northeastern State RiverHawks Thursday, Feb. 14. The RiverHawks came in to today’s matchup with the seventh best record in the MIAA while the Ichabods were the second-best record in the MIAA. 

The Ichabods started the game off on a roll. They started the game making all five of the shots they took, three of the five were three-pointers. The RiverHawks were forced to call a timeout after falling behind 13-3 within the first three minutes of the game. The RiverHawks were shooting as cold as Washburn was hot. The Ichabods soared to an 18-5 lead behind the forward tandem of Will McKee and David Salach, senior guard Javion Blake was also balling. The hot streak could not last forever, and when it ended the RiverHawks started to find their own groove and then quickly lost it.

Even though the Ichabods were shooting at a 71 percent clip from the field, they had their moments of carelessness, allowing the RiverHawks to inch back in the game. 

As the teams settled into the game, the Ichabods systematically kept extending their lead. The Ichabods kept up the shooting. Most of Washburn’s buckets came from beyond three-point range where they were lethal. With two minutes left in the first half, the Ichabods made nine of their 11 shots from deep. The Ichabods forced the RiverHawks to do a full platoon swap after freshman guard Jalen Lewis made his fourth three-point shot. The Ichabod defense held the RiverHawks from barely making a dent in their lead as the Ichabods headed into the half-dominating 48-22.

After incredible shots in the first half, one would think there would be a period where the team fell back to earth. This period did not come in the second half. The Ichabods continued to make shot after shot. When they missed a shot, they outdid the RiverHawks to gain key offensive rebounds. The Ichabods seemed like they could do little wrong in the second half. While Northeastern State put up a fight, the Ichabods were out working the RiverHawks in every facet of the game. 

The starters for the Ichabods were taken out of the game with 5:29 minutes left in the game to allow the younger players to get some in-game experience. The RiverHawks, down by 36 at one point, made a small comeback against the younger Ichabod squad. With 2:09 minutes left, there was little they could do to stop the Ichabods from finishing the game comfortably. The Ichabods closed the game out winning, 87-60.

On a night where the Ichabods took almost every shot, Blake moved into 4th on the all-time scoring list at Washburn.

“It’s special. There’s a lot of hearsay at Washburn. A lot of history that I haven’t tapped into or thought about. I just try to come out every night and just do the best that I can for my teammates and my coaches to win the game,” Blake said. “Luckily, they’re putting me into positions for me to score all four years here. That’s what my job was for this team and that’s what I’m gonna continue to do.”

It was not the only big night for one person. Freshman guard Jalen Lewis put up a solid 14 points with the majority of those coming from beyond the arc. He credits his output due to work they put in during the week. 

“It was perfect to see all of our preparation during the week come together,” Lewis said. “During the game we kinda just had to think about the game just being the icing on the cake for all the preparation. We came out with confidence and we got to shoot a little.”