Women’s basketball eclipses Emporia State with second straight win


Kyle Manthe

Washburn’s bench celebrates after scoring in the third quarter Jan. 22, 2022. The Ichabods defeated Emporia State 72-67 in the game.

Coming off a resilient win over Northwest Missouri State Washburn women’s basketball was in action Saturday Jan. 22 for another iteration of the turnpike tussle against Emporia State University.

The 6-9 Ichabods got a boost with the return of head coach Ron McHenry, who missed the previous game but returned to try and start a winning streak against the 9-7 Hornets.
Scoring came in threes early on with five combined three-pointers in the first six minutes. The first three came from Emporia State, resulting in an early 11-7 lead.

Washburn responded with two quick ones from senior guards Nurai Barrientos and Hunter Benley who each had a team-high five points in the first quarter. The Hornets kept hitting shots to give them a 20-17 lead after a high-scoring first quarter.

The scoring did not slow down in the second quarter as the Ichabods began turning defense into offense, coming back to take the lead on a steal and score from senior Shae Sanchez at the 7:09 mark.

Barrientos and Bentley continued to lead Washburn’s offensive attack, with Barrientos scoring four in the quarter and Bentley dishing out three assists. A late three by senior guard Irene Sanz off a pass from Barrientos pushed the lead up to six points before Emporia State cut it in half before halftime to make it 35-32.

The Ichabods offense in the third quarter was dominated by getting downhill and getting to the free throw line. Early on though it was Bentley who scored four early points on drives to the basket.

Next up was sophomore forward Abby Oliver who went to the free throw line six times in the quarter as part of an eight-point effort for her in the frame. As a team Washburn went to the line 10 times and scored 22 points in the quarter to build a nine-point lead heading into the fourth.

“Abby had a real run there when we went inside … they were playing all guards on the floor so we kind of did go little, as small as we are,” McHenry said. “They did a great job of passing … and I thought offensively we went and found the things that were working.”

The run continued into the fourth as the Ichabods lead ballooned to 13 after a tough driving layup from Barrienots with 8:12 left to play.

“We found some things that work well (offensively), and that is because we have some players that can create some matchup problems,” McHenry said.

Back-to-back jump shots by freshman guard Aubree Dewey forced a timeout from Emporia State as they were down by 12 at the 4:48 mark.

The Hornets quickly fought back, going to a full-court press to get Washburn out of rhythm to force missed shots as they were able to cut the lead to just six points by the 2:39 mark and force a timeout.

Out of the break Emporia State was able to get the lead down to three points on two occasions as the game moved into the final minute, broken up by an end of the shot clock jumper by Dewey.

The next Ichabod possession went down to the final seconds again, this time Dewey hit Bentley under the basket who was fouled and made the shot with just 34.4 seconds left to build a six-point lead.

Emporia State knocked down another three-pointer but two more free throws by Bentley and a stop defensively put the game out of reach as Washburn came away with a 72-67 win.

“It was a great win, and for me being away for a week and not seeing them til this morning, I didn’t see them until 11 o’clock … it was just good to be back on the court,” McHenry said.

Washburn was led by 18 points and four assists from Bentley, who shot 6-10 from the floor and added two steals. Oliver finished with 13 points and four assists of her own. Barrientos scored 15 and pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds.

“We know like everybody has their role and we stick to that and it feels good,”Barrientos said. “We knew we had to get stops but you know play-by-play we don’t really think like if we are going to win or not, we just went with the flow and kind of got the win that way.”

The win moved the Ichabods to 7-9 on the year and 5-5 in conference play.

Washburn will stay at home in the next game, a midweek matchup against Newman, Jan. 26.

Edited by Ellie Walker, Katrina Johnson