Washburn falls short in comeback against Lincoln

The men’s basketball team played the Lincoln University of Missouri Blue Tigers Thursday, Jan. 31. This was the first game of a short two-game home stand before the Ichabods head back on the road. The Ichabods entered the game with the second best in the MIAA conference. The Blue Tigers showed up to play, taking an early 15-3 lead over the Ichabods. Through the greatness of the Ichabod guards, Washburn willed themselves back in the game. After the break, the Ichabods came ready to make a push to win the game, but Lincoln did just enough to finish the game with a 75-73 win.

Starting out the game, the Ichabods had a rough time trying to find a bucket. Throughout the first five minutes of the game, the Ichabods’ only points came off of two free throws made by senior guard Javion Blake. 

The defense seemed to have the same problems as the offense. After a timeout for the Ichabod, the offense finally hit a rhythm, but the Blue Tigers kept pace with the Ichabods. 

After being down 20-7, the Ichabods made their way back into the game. The offense was able to score consistently but the Blue Tigers were shooting lights out. 

Trying to bring the Ichabods to within one score, senior guard Tyas Martin went in for a monster dunk, but the ball sailed out of the goal. With 2:28 to go in the first half, Blake drove the ball all the way down the court to finally bring the Ichabods within one score, 29-27. 

The Blue Tigers closed the half on a 7-2 run to lead at the end of the half, 36-29.

Coming out of halftime, the Ichabods came out fired up. Behind the terrific shooting of Blake, the Ichabods tied the game at 41. From there, costly turnovers and fouls allowed the Blue Tigers to retake the lead. 

As soon as the Ichabod offense seemed like it was on a roll, it suddenly came to a stop. The Blue Tigers continued to shoot well, as Ichabods attempted to make a basket. 

That would not last long as sophomore guard Tyler Geiman, who had been quiet all night, helped bring the Ichabods back into the game. Then, senior forward David Salach nailed a three-point shot to bring the Ichabods back to within one point. 

That would not last long. Methodically, Lincoln came back out to a 68-60 lead. 

A little later, sophomore forward Will McKee came up with a huge three-pointer to bring the Ichabods back to within three points. 

After multiple misses and multiple offensive rebounds, Geiman passed the ball to Salach who hit a deep three with 8 seconds left on the clock to bring the Ichabods within two points, 73-71. 

As the clock was winding down, the Ichabods had one shot with 5 seconds left and they were down 75-73. Blake got the rebound and passed the ball to Geiman for the final shot, but Geiman’s final shot fell off the rim. The Blue Tigers walked out of Lee Arena with a 75-73.

With a slow start that allowed the Blue Tigers to grab an early 13-point lead, head coach Brett Ballard believes that the team has to be ready to play from tip-off.

“If you don’t come out with an edge or with the right mind set, then [a game like] that can happen. We came out just a little bit flat for whatever reason, and that’s been an issue for us,” Ballard said. “After a big win against Pitt [State], you can’t lose your edge.” 

After a tough loss not much is said about the game, but Blake knows what needs to be changed to turn the loss into a lesson. 

“This conference is stacked from top to bottom. Especially playing at home, it’s important to protect home court. This game really mattered for us, especially with standings,” Blake said. “We just got to go back to the drawing board and learn how to get better to get back to the top of the conference.”

The Ichabod record is now 14-5 after the loss. Washburn plays against Lindenwood University at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2 at home.