Washburn women’s basketball falls short against Oklahoma Baptist University


Coming off a second quarter comeback win, the Washburn Ichabods faced off against the Oklahoma Baptist University Bison Nov. 12 at home in their annual Crossover Classic. OBU lost their game the night prior to Pittsburg State University by just 4 points. Washburn was looking for another win to add to their record book, but they struggled to get the job done. 

The Bison started the game in a 3-2 zone, forcing the Ichabods to change up their offensive game plan. On the defensive end, it took no time for them to pick up right where they left off. Macy Doebele, a senior guard, stepped into the lane to take the charge in the first few possessions of the game. 

Both teams were getting good shots up, but they couldn’t get any to fall. It wasn’t until Oklahoma Baptist’s Melissa Southard made a running floater to beat the shot clock that either team would score. Washburn was struggling to get onto the score board, but they had no trouble pulling boards in and collecting offensive rebounds. They were crashing the glass and it paid off. Gabi Artis, a freshman guard, pulled in a offensive rebound and passed it up to Aubree Dewey, a junior guard. Dewey then threaded the needle inside to Lauren Cassaday, junior forward, who finished the layup, scoring it up at two. 

Washburn was still working their passing offensive, but it was beginning to get a little sloppy. Passes were slow and uncareful, causing OBU to get a pair of steals and take the ball the other way. 

The Bison would score two more times before Mackenzie Gamble, a junior guard, subbed into the game. She picked right up from her 19-point performance the night prior and buried a wing three. With 10 seconds left, Washburn grabbed the defensive rebound and made down the court to score before the clock expired. Gamble threw the ball inside to Lizzy Sanders, a freshman forward, who fumbled it around. The ball ended back up in Gamble’s hands, and she put up a mid-range jumper just outside of the key before the buzzer went off, but it hit the rim and rolled out. Both teams would go to their benches as the first quarter ended with a score of 8-5 in the Bison’s favor.

The Bison were the ones who started the scoring in the second quarter with an open three on the wing. Washburn took no time returning the favor, with Gamble sinking another three, but the Ichabods didn’t stop there. Natalia Figueroa, a freshman guard, found the ball on the edge and buried a three of her own to tie the game up at 11. Washburn was hot and OBU was on a cold streak, turning the ball over in two straight possessions.

Washburn continued their hot streak with Emma Chapman, a senior forward, scoring the layup through a foul for an “and one.” Oklahoma Baptist thought they had finally broken through with a layup, but Doebele stepped in front to take her second charge of the night. The Bison began to pick up speed again, and they finally broke their streak after a steal, a jump shot and a pair of free throws to tie it back up at 15. Both teams began to work their offense again, but Artis erased their work with a blocked shot on the baseline. 

However, she was too quick to outlet the pass and turned it right back over for an easy jumper for the Bison. Artis redeemed herself on the following fastbreak with a rip through layup off a pass from Gamble. Oklahoma Baptist’s Madison Chambers brought the ball down in the final five seconds of the first half and found herself shooting and making two free throws. 

Washburn pushed the ball to the corner, but they missed the three-point buzzer beater as both teams went to their locker rooms, with Washburn leading 20-19. Oklahoma Baptist thrived off of steals in the first half, scoring 15 of their 19 points off of turnovers. Both teams struggled shooting, with OBU shooting 30% from the field and Washburn shooting 33%.

“We got good shots early and we didn’t convert them, so then we were trying to force weird shots and we questioned ourselves too much,” head coach Laura Westling said.

The third quarter started with some impressive ball movement from Washburn, with Dewey dishing it to Chapman off the dribble entry for an easy layup. The Bison tried to score a layup of their own, but Cassaday stepped in front of the ball handler to take the third charge of the game for Washburn. Dewey decided to follow in her teammates footsteps, as she also took a charge just two possessions later.

“We did a pretty good job in the first half getting multiple stops, but we weren’t in our defensive system as much in the second half. We just need to do a better job of playing defensively in the second half,” Westling said.

With Washburn leading 25-23, the Bison began to move the ball around much better and find their posts down low. OBU’s Sydney Duncan found Jill Leslie on the high-low pass to tie the game up at 25. Just two possessions later, Artis found herself open on the arch and buried a three, but Southard of Oklahoma Baptist made a three in the deep corner to tie it back up. In the last 30 seconds of the third quarter, the Bison’s found Kayla Highfill in the post for an “and one” turnaround jumper. Highfill made the free throw and ended the third quarter to give the Bison a 31-28 lead.

The Bison made a quick jumper to start the fourth quarter, but Washburn wasn’t going to let them extend their lead. With a pair of free throws from Doebele followed by a nice layup, she quickly brought the game within one. Dewey was able to break free in open court and shoot a layup, but was fouled. She made her first free throw but missed the second, tying it up at 35. After that, the Ichabods began to fall apart. 

They threw the ball away twice and allowed OBU to jump out to a seven-point lead before Westling had to call a timeout. Washburn came out of the defense playing good defense, not letting the Bison score any points, but they couldn’t get a shot to fall either. With 2:12 left on the clock, Washburn was able to force a shot clock violation and got the ball back. Gamble came up big in the following possession by nailing a three to put the Bods within four. 

With one minute remaining, the Bison began playing keep away. They managed to chip the clock down to 19 seconds left. Although Dewey hit a three at the last second, it wasn’t enough to close the gap, and Oklahoma Baptist took the win 43-41.

Both teams struggled shooting, with neither team shooting over being able to shoot over 50% in any quarter and shooting less than 40% through the entirety of the game. OBU was able to squeeze past their bad performance and take the win, making both teams 1-1 on the year so far. 

To see stats for this game or any other Washburn sporting event, go to WUSports.com.

Edited by Aja Carter, Glorianna Noland