Established 1885

The Washburn Review

Established 1885

The Washburn Review

Established 1885

The Washburn Review

Men’s basketball takes heartbreaking loss to Emporia State University

Washburn+sits+with+no+wins+and+one+loss+so+far+in+conference+play.+They+lost+to+Emporia+State+University+by+only+two+points
Photo courtesy of Sarah Cavallaro
Washburn sits with no wins and one loss so far in conference play. They lost to Emporia State University by only two points

On Dec. 2, the Washburn basketball team traveled to Emporia to play the Emporia State Hornets. The “Turnpike Tussle” showcased talents from both teams, and it was the Hornets who were able to secure the win 71-69 in the final minute of the game.

“You got to give credit to [Emporia], they’re a good team, we just got to play better overall and we’ll walk away with a win,” said head coach Brett Ballard.

Both teams played great defense to start the game, with six points each being all that was scored in the first five minutes of the game. After the first media timeout, ESU took their game to the free throw line. In the first half, the Hornets shot and made 19 free throws.

“We knew going into it they were a team that shoots a lot of free throws, but it’s hard to win games when you put a team on the line that much,” Ballard said.

Emporia had the momentum, but Jarmell Johnson, sophomore guard, was able to give Washburn second chance points after three offensive rebounds to close the lead 17-12 and forced ESU to call a timeout. After the timeout, Sam Ungashik, sophomore guard, wasted no time with an and-1 layup in Washburn’s first possession out of the timeout.

Ungashik was the top player for the Ichabods with 21 points and five rebounds. Not only did he have the most points for Washburn, but many of his baskets helped swing the momentum in Washburn’s favor.

“I think being aggressive was my biggest help and my teammates were able to help me out as well with good passes, setting screens, stuff like that,” Ungashik said.

Ungashik scored nine points in the final three minutes of the first half. His first layup came from a fastbreak euro step layup after a long rebound. After that, a previously called goaltend on Emporia was reversed, so two points were waived from Washburn. Ungashik made up for the lost points with a layup following a steal by Zaid Dajani, sophomore guard. The very next possession, Ungashik raced down the court on a fastbreak to make an and-1 layup and close the first half. Both teams headed to their locker rooms with Emporia leading 38-32.

Washburn’s 14 first-half fouls forced their player rotations to be adjusted late in the game due to foul trouble.

“They definitely called it tight but we needed to adjust to the calling quicker,” Ballard said.

Johnson opened up the second half scoring for Washburn by kissing a corner three off the glass in the first minute. Soon after, Brady Christiansen, sophomore forward, gives Washburn their first lead of the game with an and-1 layup, making the score 42-41.

After a missed three-pointer from Christiansen, Emporia State’s Atavian Butler, senior guard, fell to the floor with a knee injury as the play continued. After the referees called the play dead, athletic trainers came out to help him off the floor and he was unable to continue playing.

Both teams came back on the court to continue the game, and Washburn was the first team to score a field goal. After Jack Bachelor, freshman guard, grabbed a rebound, he found Emmanuel Byrd, freshman forward, under the rim for an easy two points to extend Washburn’s lead 50-45 and force ESU to call a timeout.

The Hornets began to gain some momentum with seven straight points and two blocks, but Ungashik was able to silence the rival crowd with a long distance three.

With five minutes left, Johnson made a free throw to tie the game back up at 61. Soon after, his layup and junior forward Andrew Orr’s two free throws gave them the 65-64 lead. Washburn continued to fight, but Emporia’s top scorer, senior guard Owen Long, hit a long distance three pointer to tie the game. In the process, Long was fouled and made the free throw to give them a 70-69 lead.

With under a minute left, Ungashik took two layups on two different possessions that would have given the Ichabods the lead, but he missed both.

“I’m trying not to think about the situation too much, I’m just playing as hard as I can, but unfortunately I missed both of those layups,” Ungashik said.

Emporia held the lead, 71-69, with half a second left. Emporia’s junior guard, Solomon Oraegbu, missed both free throws and gave Bachelor an opportunity to win the game with a full court heave, but he missed off left. Washburn lost the rivalry matchup 71-69 and Emporia’s home crowd cheered loudly as both teams headed to their locker rooms.

Washburn played with grit, but they came up short. Next they play Rogers State University on Dec. 9 in Lee Arena for a chance to bounce back from a heartbreaking defeat.

Edited by Jayme Thompson and Aja Carter

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Jeremy Ford, Copy Chief
Hello! I am a sophomore mass media major with a concentration in journalism. I write all kinds of stories, but I enjoy writing about sports the most. I hope to find a career in sports media of some kind, so this position is right up my alley.
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