Women’s basketball bounced by Benedictine in home opener


Jesse Bruner

Washburn guard Hunter Bentley drives in for the basket Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2021, at Lee Arena in Topeka, Kansas. Bentley had three assists in the game.

After splitting its opening weekend of games, Washburn women’s basketball returned to Lee Arena for its home opener Nov. 17 against Benedictine College. The non-conference matchup against the 5-1 Ravens was the first of five straight home games for the Ichabods.

Washburn was out and running from the start, causing five turnovers in the first quarter leading to six fastbreak points. When they were forced to play in the halfcourt the Ichabods worked the ball inside to the post, scoring 20 of 21 first quarter points. The inside duo of senior center, Mya Johnson and freshman forward Lauren Cassaday, combined for eight points on 4-6 shooting to propel Washburn to a 21-13 lead.

The second quarter strategy was more of the same as the Ichabods continued to pass and cut well, leading to 10 first half assists. Benedictine’s offense knocked down two shots from outside in the quarter and held Washburn to just ten points in the final five minutes of the half, closing the gap to 34-32 at the midway point.

The Ravens came out firing in the third quarter, with ten points in the first three minutes to take the lead. Senior guard Hunter Bentley tried to stem the run, scoring five points in the middle of the quarter, but tough shot making and a perfect 6-6 performance at the free throw line kept Benedictine ahead 52-48 at the end of three.

“It’s frustrating because the way we guarded was pretty hard, we just didn’t guard very smart,” said head coach Ron McHenry. “I thought we played hard especially with certain groups out there, but we didn’t play very smart.”

The Ichabods got to work defensively in the fourth quarter, holding the Ravens scoreless for the first three minutes. On the other end a 5-0 run by sophomore guard Macy Doebele gave Washburn a 53-52 lead.

“I felt like the shots that I was taking were set up well by my teammates, especially in the second half, you got to pull open shots when you got them,” Doebele said.
Benedictine continued to get into the paint and draw fouls, responding with a 5-0 run of its own.

A corner three pointer by freshman guard Mackenzie Gamble with 2:27 left brought the lead down to just two points. A free throw by the Ravens made the lead three until a steal and score made it a one-point game. A stop on the other end gave the Ichabods the ball with 13.6 left in the game. A missed three-pointer by Bentley was secured by Benedictine along with a 64-61 victory.

“I think sometimes we just have trouble with our offense kind of clicking, just kind of making it work a little more smoother so that we get those better shots,” Doebele said.

Doebele led the way with 14 points, three assists, and seven rebounds while Bentley added nine points along with three assists and two steals.

“The bad thing is we had a 12, 14-point lead before half and let it get away,” McHenry said. “We let it get away from us pretty easily, so it’s a process, it’s a bad process right now but we got to learn.”

The crushing loss moved the Ichabods to 1-2 on the year as they have a long break before they take on Winona State University Nov. 26 in the Washburn Thanksgiving Classic.

Edited by: Ellie Walker and Alyssa Storm