Ichabods win home opener, 76-72

The men’s basketball team played their first game of the season at home. The Ichabods took on the Rockhurst Hawks Wednesday, Nov. 14.

The first half for the Ichabods would be up and down as the offense seemed to click at times, and at others, unable to find a rhythm. For the defense in the first half, it had issues trying to stay in a rhythm as they would surrender 35 points in the frame. In the second half, the Ichabod offense became more consistent, allowing them to sneak out a 76-72 victory over the Hawks.

It took a while for either team to score. At the 16:32 mark, senior guard Tyus Martin finally knocked down the first bucket to give the Ichabods 2-0 lead. From there, the offenses of both teams would start firing. The Ichabods and Hawks traded blows before a timeout with 4:47 stopped the action with the game tied 7-7. 

With the help of senior guard Javion Blake, the Ichabods darted out to an 8-point lead going on an 8-1 run in which Blake scored or assisted on all but one score with 11:15 left with Washburn up 18-11. 

The Hawks finally got rolling again. Once up 24-15, Ichabods lost the lead they had built up in a matter of minutes. The Hawks tied the game, 24-24 with 6:11 left in half with the help of sophomore guard Curtis Lewis. 

After being held scoreless for four minutes, freshman guard Jalen Lewis stepped up and gave Washburn the lead 27-24.  

The last three minutes of the first half would be a dog fight as both teams would trade lead changes four times before the end of the half. 

At the end first half, Rockhurst would hold on to a 2-point lead over Washburn, 35-33. Blake would lead the Ichabods with 8 points, McKee had 6. McKee led the team with seven rebounds.

Coming out of the half, the Hawks were back to scoring, hitting a three to give them a 38-33 lead. 

With 17:37 left in the game, senior guard Tyus Martin kept the Ichabods within reach with an and-one layup. A little bit later, the Washburn offense came up big. After two miss shots and two offensive rebounds, Martin made another layup, but the Hawks would still lead 46-43. After a defensive stop, Martin would rush down the court to put in another layup, cutting the lead to one. 

With after a short 4-0 Hawk run, fresh into the game, junior guard Drew Pyle hit a deep three to bring the Ichabods back within one. 

Down by two, 56-54, sophomore guard Tyler Geiman gave the Ichabods the lead with an and-one layup 57-56. 

The Ichabods would then extend the lead to 65-58 with 5:15 left in the game. This time instead of one person taking over, multiple Ichabods came up with big shots. 

With 4:52 left, Pyle hit another three extending the lead to 10. 

The Hawks would not be easily beaten. They methodically worked themselves back into the game with 1:55 left to go only down 72-70. 

With 29 seconds left, senior forward David Salach would come up with two blocks to stop the Hawks from tying the game. After being fouled, Salach would knock both of his free throws in to give the Ichabods a 74-70 lead. 

With a few seconds left on the clock, the Hawks had the chance to get within one, but the three-point shot attempt missed. 

Washburn defeats Rockhurst 76-72. Their record improves to 2-1. 

Senior forward David Salach knew this game was going to be the shootout that it became.

“We knew going in that they were a great shooting team. They didn’t have anyone that couldn’t score, so we all had to be sound defensively,” Salach said. “There were a couple possessions that we let slip. They got some open threes, or they got to the hole with nobody contesting.”

Salach was happy to do his part by blocking two of the Hawks potential game tying shots. 

“It was pretty exciting. I just try to make plays at the end of the game to help give our team a shot,” Salach added.

Senior guard Tyas Martin knew that the first half was not the best effort from the Ichabods and tried to help guide the team back to being consistent in the second half.

“In the first half we took a lot of quick shots. We took a lot of transition shots, which when you go up and down. A lot of times you get a little tired on defense. The way they run their offense they slip in a lot of screens, so you can easily get mixed up when you are tired,” Martin said. “[In] the second half we just took the time to make sure we got some good touches in the paint and took up more time on the clock.”

The Ichabods will play their next game Tuesday, Nov. 20 against the Truman State Bulldogs.