Second half dooms Women’s basketball in loss to Lopers


Kyle Manthe

Sophomore guard Macy Doebele drives the ball to the basket Dec. 4, 2021. Doebele dished out four assists in the game.

After losing earlier in the week the Washburn women’s basketball team was on a four-game losing skid and was desperately looking to get on track. The road ahead did not get easier as they faced off with the 21st ranked University of Nebraska at Kearney on Dec. 4.

The Ichabods got on the right track to start thanks to a quick offensive burst led by freshman guard Mackenzie Gamble, who had five points including a three-pointer as Washburn led 9-8 with 6:28 left in the quarter. The offense did not maintain the same pace the rest of the quarter to cover for the defense. The Lopers forced five turnovers and continued to score, leading 16-11 after a quarter.

The Ichabods defense picked up in the second quarter, holding Nebraska-Kearney to just eight points in the first nine minutes. Washburn’s offense started slow but heated up at the end of the quarter, going on a 7-0 run in just three possessions. A midrange jumper by senior guard Shea Sanchez tied the game up at 24 before senior guard Hunter Bentley converted her second and one of the quarter to take the lead. The run gave the Ichabods a 27-26 lead heading into halftime.

“Our defense and our offense are much better when we pressurize and are able to get in transition because that is what we are good at,” Bentley said.

The offense for Washburn came out flat in the third quarter, two inside buckets from sophomore forward Abby Oliver made up most of the team’s production. Although on the other end the Ichabods were nearly as strong, holding the Lopers to 33% shooting in the quarter, it was still good enough to overcome the halftime lead as they led 36-34 after three.

In the final ten minutes, Washburn held Nebraska-Kearney scoreless for the first 4:23. They took that time to tie and take the lead on free throws from Bentley. The Lopers were able to respond and reclaim the lead with a quick 4-0 run on two baskets in the post.

“Against teams like that you got to be real efficient. We are working hard offensively. I think we killed the ball a little bit out there, rather than moving the ball and playing,” said head coach Ron McHenry.

The deficit grew to as many as six but was cut to just three with 31.4 seconds after three straight points by senior guard Nuria Barrientos.

That was as close as they got the rest of the way as the Lopers iced the game with free throws and Washburn was unable to convert on offense, leading to the 49-43 loss.

“Playing pretty well for just about 30 minutes is always a positive for us, so being able to carry that into the next game and hopefully get that to 35, 40 minutes is going to be really good for us,” Bentley said.

Bentley led the team in scoring with nine points, while also placing them in rebounds with five. Barrientos also added five rebounds with seven points. Sophomore guard Macy Doebele also dished out four of the team’s five assists in the game.

The loss dropped the Ichabods to 1-6 on the year and 0-2 in conference play after one week.

“It’s just so hard because we are trying to catch a win, and the bottom line is there are no moral victories,” McHenry said.

Next up the Ichabods will hit the road, traveling to face the University of Central Oklahoma on Dec. 9.

Edited by Ellie Walker, Simran Shrestha