Men’s basketball drops duel with Bearcats 63-71


Jesse Bruner

Washburn guard Tyler Geiman (12) dribbles down the court Monday, Jan. 17, 2022, at Lee Arena in Topeka, Kansas. Geiman recorded four assists in the game.

After starting the year off 6-6 Washburn men’s basketball reeled off four straight wins heading into its Jan. 17 matchup with No. 2 ranked Northwest Missouri State. To get a third win in five days the Ichabods would have to knock off the 15-1 Bearcats in the first game between the two since the NCAA tournament last season.

Washburn started off as cold as possible, as they were held scoreless until the 15:08 mark when sophomore guard Connor Deffebaugh converted on a four-point play. The play sparked the Ichabods’ offense as they roared back to take a 13-12 lead after a layup by junior forward Jonny Clausing.

Inside of the ten-minute mark a three-pointer from sophomore forward Kevaughn Ellis along with a converted-and-one by Deffebaugh gave Washburn a five-point advantage. Northwest Missouri started hitting shots from the outside and quickly went on a 9-0 run to retake the lead.

Fouls slowed down the final minutes of the half and kept the game within reach for the Ichabods as they headed into halftime trailing 34-30.

“We weathered the storm pretty well and got ourselves back into it. We just have to tighten some things up in practice and we will be alright for the next game,” Deffebaugh said of the team’s slow start.

The Bearcats started the second half hot from the outside, with two three-pointers coming from forward Wes Dreamer in the first three minutes to put Northwest Missouri up by as many as nine.

“We didn’t play great the first five minutes of the second half, and sometimes that’s all it takes against a team as elite as that … that five kind of dug us a hole,” said head coach Brett Ballard.

Washburn battled back with a 9-2 run led by five points from senior forward Jeremy Harrell.
Next for Northwest Missouri, it was guard Trevor Hudgins who knocked down back-to-back three-pointers as part of a run that made it a double-digit game with just under 12 minutes to play.

The Ichabods responded just under the ten-minute mark with four straight points by Clausing and a three-pointer from Deffebaugh to pull within six points.

Offense went quiet for both teams the next few minutes until Deffebaugh scored on a cutting layup and pass by senior guard Tyler Geiman, who then hit a turnaround jump shot the next time down, making the score 56-61 with 4:42 left.

Hudgins took over for the Bearcats, scoring four of the next six points in the game, part of a game-high 26. Washburn’s scoring drought would only end at the two-minute mark after Geiman connected on a three pointer to pull within eight.

That was as close as the Ichabods would get as Northwest Missouri continued to score and eventually secure a 71-63 victory.

“We have been preparing for these guys for a long time, and obviously they are the best team in the country. We just didn’t have some things go our way late, but we will adjust. We got a good team in the locker room and we all are connected,” Deffebaugh said.

Deffebaugh led Washburn with 17 points, while Geiman added 14 to go along with five rebounds and four assists. Clausing also added 12 points to finish in double figures.

“I thought we played really hard and competed at a high level,” Ballard said. “We know in order to get there (to a championship) we got to beat a team like that … I thought our guys showed a lot of heart and a lot of fight tonight.”

The loss moved the Ichabods to 10-7 on the year and 7-4 in MIAA play. Next up will be a home matchup with Emporia State University Jan. 22.

Edited by Alyssa Storm
Edited by Ellie Walker