Men’s basketball ends season with opening round loss

Trevor Beurman

The Ichabods took part in their first NCAA tournament under first-year head coach Brett Ballard against Northern State University. This matchup placed the seventh seeded Ichabods up against the second seeded Wolves in the Central Region.

Northern State began the game with hot shooting and never looked back. Washburn led only in the first half, with the first points of the game on a layup from senior Brady Skeens. After that, Northern State progressively pulled away from the Ichabods, dominating from the arch and in the paint.

“We knew going in that they were a really good team, but the thing about us is that we have grown and learned a lot since we faced them,” Ballard said.

The most notable performances in this game were from Skeens with 18 points, seven rebounds and 7-12 from the field, along with junior Javion Blake with 17 total points, three steals and 6-10 from the field.

Junior Tyas Martin also had a quality final game with 13 points, three assists and 6-11 from the field. At halftime, the Ichabods trailed by as many as 12 points and struggled to find any offense in the first half.

Washburn eventually got their offense going in the second half, but by the time the Ichabods started to heat up it was a little too late.

{{tncms-inline alignment=”left” content=”<p>Brady Skeens</p> <p>18 Points</p> <p>7 Rebounds</p> <p>7-12 Field Goals</p>” id=”0edaedb6-724d-4b52-80d7-5876e4dd635c” style-type=”bio” title=”Player of the Tournament” type=”relcontent” width=”half”}}

The Wolves continued to stay hot in the second half with their three-point shooting, shutting down any Washburn attempt to narrow the gap. While Washburn scored more than they had in the first half, they still stayed behind Northern State in terms of total score.

Northern State outscored the Ichabods 40-44 in the second half as Northern State rolled to victory in the first round of the Central Region. Northern State went on to face St. Cloud State and beat them 68-61 to make it to the Central Region finals.

With this being final game game for seniors like Tyas Martin, Cameron Wiggins, Brady Skeens, Randall Smith, Tom Huppe and Isaac Clark, Ballard will have big holes to fill for next season. Washburn will try to piggyback off this magical MIAA conference season for hopefully another bid in the NCAA tournament come next season.