Men’s basketball bounced by Oklahoma Baptist 69-63


Kohichiro Yamada

Washburn forward Kevaughn Ellis (31) shoots a free throw Nov. 23, 2021. The game was held at Lee Arena in Topeka, Kansas.

After a blowout win over Baker, Washburn men’s basketball looked to begin a winning streak with a game against Oklahoma Baptist University who boasted a 2-1 record. The Ichabods entered the game in the midst of a five game homestand and sat at 2-2 on the season.

Junior guard Jalen Lewis got the game started for Washburn with a three-point basket, but the Bisons came back with the next 11 points to force an Ichabod timeout, including nine from Oklahoma Baptist guard Jaquan Sims, who drilled three from long range.

Washburn would respond with a burst offensively and three-pointer by freshman guard Michael Keegan, who pulled them within three. Strong outside shooting from the Bisons kept them in front through the midway point in the half.
The Ichabods offense stagnated, scoring only three points from the 11:09 mark until there were under five minutes left in the half. Lewis picked up his hot start to close the half, scoring nine of his 17 first half points in the final five minutes to keep Washburn in the game, but they would still trail 35-30 going into halftime.

In the second half the Ichabods continued to fire blanks from deep leading to only scoring two points over the first four and a half minutes allowing Oklahoma Baptist to make it an 11-point game.

“(There was) just a lid on the basket, and when that happens you got to be elite on the defensive end. I thought we were really good on the defensive end, but just not quite enough,” said head coach Brett Ballard.

Washburn started attacking the paint with some success, led by freshman guard Jaden Monday, who had two driving layups to pull within seven. That is as close as they would get as the clock moved under ten minutes.

The Ichabods defense picked up allowing them to pull within four points on an outside shot from senior forward Jeremy Harrell with 8:09 remaining. The deficit was the same as a four-point Washburn run left the score at 55-51 with 4:30 left following a turnaround shot by Keegan.

Turnovers and fouls grew the deficit to double digits for the Ichabods down the stretch. Back-to-back three-pointers by Lewis and Harrell brought the lead down to four points again, but key free throws from the Bisons allowed them to stay in front, winning 69-63.

Washburn was led by Lewis, who finished with a career-high 30 points to go along with two assists.

“Guys got me in my spots. Everybody trusts me to go out and make plays and try to win the game. That’s what I’m always focused on, just trying to compete my best and come up with the win and we came up short today,” Lewis said.

Keegan was the only other double-digit scorer, while Monday led the team with six rebounds, four assists and three steals.

“I thought the effort was good. I thought we competed. I don’t think we are that far off from being a really really good team, but you don’t come to Washburn for moral victories,” Ballard said.

The loss dropped the Ichabods to 2-3 on the young season. The team will be in action next on Nov. 27 when Benedictine College visits.

Edited by Ellie Walker