Shooting slump dooms Washburn women in loss to Winona State


Jesse Bruner

Washburn guard Nuria Barrientos (24) drives for the basket Friday, Nov. 26, 2021, at Lee Arena in Topeka, Kan. Barrientos recorded three rebounds in the game.

After a crushing loss to Benedictine College in its home opener, Washburn women’s basketball was back on the hardwood for its first game in the Washburn Thanksgiving Classic. The 1-2 Ichabods would face Winona State University, who entered the game with a perfect 3-0 record.

Offense was hard to come by for each side with the score tied at two after three minutes of play. It did not stay that way as back-to-back threes by freshman guard Mackenzie Gamble gave Washburn a 12-8 lead. The Ichabods continued to play sound defense, closing out the quarter with a 14-10 lead.

The pace of the game picked up in the second quarter, but the scoring was not there for Washburn early on. The seal on the basket came off as the Ichabods scored on three straight possessions on two drives from senior guard Hunter Bentley and a three in the middle by sophomore guard Macy Doebele. That burst would keep Washburn in front 29-20 heading into halftime.

“We had a great first half but we basically didn’t shoot it great, just out-toughed them on the boards and got some stuff there,” said Head Coach Ron McHenry.

The Warriors came out of halftime firing, knocking down its first four shots to pull within two points. Offensive fouls and turnovers took the Ichabods out of rhythm offensively, as they mustered only two points in the first six and a half minutes of the quarter. The struggles allowed Winona State to take a 38-35 lead into the fourth quarter.

“We are really just struggling having those shots to fall, so we just have to step up confidently and knock them down. Just kind of build off what we do in the first half and not let that slip away,” Doebele said.

Washburn could not stop the bleeding in the fourth quarter as the lead grew to double digits within the first five minutes. The Ichabods pulled within six points, but the Warriors were able to force key turnovers and pull down offensive rebounds to maintain possession, leading to a 56-45 loss for Washburn.

“I think defensively we fought hard, but when you make 12 field goals it’s probably a hard game to win,” McHenry said.

Doebele led the Ichabods with nine points and seven rebounds while sophomore forward Abby Oliver chipped in 10 points. Freshman forward Lauren Cassaday added another seven rebounds, while freshman guard Aubree Dewey led with four assists.

The loss moved Washburn to 1-3 on the year with a short turnaround before the second game of the Washburn Thanksgiving Classic Nov. 27 against Rockhurst University.

Edited by Ellie Walker, Simran Shrestha