Women’s basketball outlasts Central Oklahoma in overtime


Kyle Manthe

Senior guard Shae Sanchez (left) and freshman guard Aubree Dewey (right) high-five after a basket Jan. 29, 2022. Sanchez scored 14 points and Dewey scored six in the game.

Winners of its last three games, Washburn women’s basketball entered the penultimate game of a five-game homestand against the University of Central Oklahoma. The 8-9 Ichabods entered with a chance to get to .500 for the first time in the season.

Washburn came out firing early on offense, building a 10-4 lead after a three by senior guard Hunter Bentley, who had eight first quarter points. The Ichabods also got early contributions from the bench, led by senior guard Shae Sanchez, who scored seven in the first to help build a 23-15 advantage after ten minutes.

“In the first quarter they had a hard time getting good shots off, so we set the tone that it’s hard for them to get into their offense, and then it helps us because it makes it a little easier for us to get transition buckets,” Bentley said.

Washburn’s strong rebounding and quick passing helped expand the lead to 15 at the 5:46 mark after a jumper by freshman guard Mackenzie Gamble. Turnovers by the Ichabods put the Bronchos right back in the game, pulling within five at the 2:49 mark.

Three more turnovers in the final three minutes shrunk the lead to as few as one, until Washburn connected on three free throws in the final minute to go into halftime with a 39-37 lead.

Turnovers as a result of facing a full-court-press would haunt the Ichabods the final five minutes, as they racked up nine turnovers in just the second quarter alone. Those along with strong inside play by the taller Central Oklahoma resulted in just a 39-37 lead going into the half for Washburn.

The Ichabods started the third quarter on an 8-2 run to lead by as many as eight, but the Bronchos would turn around and deliver a 9-2 run back to pull within one before taking the lead on a three pointer with 5:09 left in the quarter.

Both offenses were strong the final five minutes as the lead traded hands many times until the quarter ended with the score knotted at 62.

The scoring did not slow down in the fourth quarter. The Ichabods were driving the ball inside and kicking to shooters. Early threes by Bentley and Gamble pushed the lead to four points with just over five minutes to play.

The lead disappeared just under the five-minute mark after the Bronchos scored five points on two possessions. Washburn answered with a corner three-pointer from senior guard Nuria Barrientos with 4:01 left to retake the lead.

“It was up and down … I thought our kids in that game could have shut down. We kept on getting some big leads and then they would come running right back at us,” said head coach Ron McHenry.

The next four points would belong to Central Oklahoma, leaving the Ichabods behind with less than two to go until sophomore guard Macy Doebele got aggressive, taking two drives to the basket and getting one layup and two free throws with just over a minute left and Washburn in front 82-81.

“I knew obviously I had been sitting on the bench that I at least had to bring energy. I wasn’t really thinking ‘Oh my goodness, I need to score.’ I was like ‘I just need to play my defensive role and get the team going and have energy’,” Doebele said.

The next basket came from the Bronchos at the 19 second mark and was a three-pointer by junior Brooke Rayner. Doebele responded right away with another drive and trip to the free throw line where she knocked down two more to tie the game with 12 seconds left.

Out of a timeout on the other end, Rayner once again got free hitting a jumper with just over three seconds left. The Ichabods called timeout and again it was Doebele who drove to the basket and laid it in with .2 seconds left to force overtime.

“I just saw the girl come out, and (took a) baseline drive. I was like ‘There’s a few seconds left, I have to get to the basket’,” Doebele said.

In overtimes the teams stayed just as close, with neither side creating more than two points of separation the first three minutes. Following a basket by Sanchez, she followed it up with a steal resulting in a putback layup by freshman guard Aubree Dewey to put Washburn up 94-90.

A steal by Bentley led to Dewey being sent to the foul stripe where she knocked down one of two shots with 40 seconds left. The next trip down, Rayner got into the paint and converted an old-fashioned three-point play to make it a two-point game.

With Central Oklahoma forced to foul, they sent Doebele to the free throw line where she knocked down two more, making it a four-point game with 22.4 left. The Ichabods defense held firm on the other end, and they were able to escape with a 98-93 win.

“Every time we play Central Oklahoma we score. I’m not saying they don’t guard but they allow us to do some things that we are comfortable with,” McHenry said. “We just never shut down, we just kept banging.”

98 points is a season-high for Washburn, who moved to 9-9 with the win and 7-5 in MIAA play.

“It feels good. You want to be better than that, but the way we started was not very good” McHenry said. “You are kind of trying to win every game that you can. It’s not easy in this league, but I am proud of the girls.”

Bentley paced the Ichabods with 20 points to go along with seven assists and six rebounds, both team-highs. Doebele scored a career-high 18, all coming after halftime. Sanchez finished with 14 points as three others would join them in double figures.

Edited by Ellie Walker, Simran Shrestha