Women’s basketball rebounds with resilient win over Bearcats


Kohichiro Yamada

Washburn senior guard Hunter Bentley (23), and freshman guard Aubree Dewey (3) talk with assistant coach Brette Herber on Jan 17, 2022 at Lee arena, Topeka, Kan. The Ichabods defeated Northwest Missouri State 58-52.

After a 12-day break to begin the new year Washburn women’s basketball played its third game in five days Jan. 17 where they hosted Northwest Missouri State. Losing the first two games of 2022 put the Ichabods at 5-9 on the year before the Monday night matchup against the 11-4 Bearcats.

The team started the day in a bind when they learned that head coach Ron McHenry would be unavailable for the game due to COVID-19 protocols. In his place would be longtime assistant coach Brett Herber stepping up to fill the interim duties.

“They were used to my voice, and they were used to my style of how I coach and how I talk to them and I think they responded well. That definitely helped, because they know what I expect,” Herber said.

The game started in a 4-4 tie after four minutes which was broken by a three-pointer from sophomore guard Macy Doebele to give Washburn a 7-4 lead. The Ichabods defense continued to be stout, forcing five first quarter turnovers to build a 13-8 lead after ten minute as the team responded well to the sudden coaching change.

“We all have confidence in her and she has confidence in us, and she can run this team as well as coach Mc, so we knew that she could do it and we could all do it together,” said senior guard Hunter Bentley.

Two early baskets in the second quarter by sophomore forward Abby Oliver extended the lead to nine points before a jumper from Bentley moved into double digits.

“I think that they (my teammates) are doing a really good job of seeing me inside and cutting off of me and just, we are all playing well together and finding each other,” Oliver said.

The offense for Washburn went cold in the middle of the quarter, allowing Northwest Missouri to get within two points.

The cold spell was put to an end by freshman guard Aubree Dewey who knocked down back-to-back jump shots to make it a 26-20 game before halftime.

The Ichabods started slow offensively, managing only two points in the first five minutes as the Bearcats went on a 10-2 run to take the lead. A three-pointer by senior guard Irene Sanz followed by a jumper from freshman forward Lauren Cassaday put Washburn back in front, 35-32.

Northwest Missouri was able to respond with a 5-0 run to finish the quarter with a 37-35 lead.
The Ichabods started the fourth quarter off strong with a three-point play by Doebele off a pass from Oliver who scored herself the next time down and then delivered another pass to Doebele to make it three in a row.

“It’s really nice because Macy and I are really similar players so we can switch on defense and switch on offense. If we have the four on us the other person can go inside so that is really nice fluidity,” Oliver said.

Bentley scored the next trip down to make it a 44-37 game and force a timeout with 7:31 left.
“The girls really executed and listen to the play call and the adjustments, Abby and Macy fed off of each other really well, they are a tough duo on the floor and then some other kids got some looks from them playing inside,” Herber said.

Both teams’ offenses cooled down the next four minutes, with each side scoring only four points. A three by the Bearcats at the 2:36 cut the lead down to four points and was the start of a 6-0 run which forced a Washburn timeout with 1:09 left and the score, 51-50.

Four straight free throws by the senior duo of Bentley and guard Nuria Barrientos kept the Ichabods in front 55-52 with 22.9 seconds left. Washburn played solid defense resulting in a missed shot and rebound by senior guard Shea Sanchez who was fouled and knocked down two more free throws.

The Ichabods forced a turnover on the next Northwest Missouri possession to put the game out of reach and leave with a 58-52 win.

“We kind of didn’t have a good third quarter because of our defense, so once we could get some stops and get some easy baskets going for us on the offensive end then it kind of just clicked for us again in the fourth quarter,” Bentley said.

Bentley led the way scoring 14 points and dishing out a team-high four assists. Oliver and Doebele joined her in double figures with 12 and 11 respectively. Sanz and Sanchez each pulled down a team-high six rebounds.

The win moved Washburn to 6-9 on the year and 4-5 in conference play heading into a home game with Emporia State Jan. 22.

Edited by Alyssa Storm and Ellie Walker