Ichabods start slow, but finish strong for win over UNK

Erika Lane not intimidated to take the shot

Chase Coble

It’s an age old saying; it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. The Washburn women’s basketball team took that to heart in Lee Arena for Thursday’s tussle with the Lopers of The University of Nebraska Kearney, an opportunity for the Ichabods to get a bounce back win following a heartbreaking loss at the hands of The University of Central Missouri.

The Ichabods did not get the start they were looking for in the first quarter, as they missed their first several shots and struggled offensively in general in the early going. Alyxis Bowens got the ‘bods started with a free throw and an inside bucket, followed by Jharian Bowen scoring the next six points. UNK had an answer for nearly every Washburn score, and the game stayed close, so close that it took a buzzer beating three by McKenzie Brown of the Lopers to give them a 14-11 lead at the end of the first over Washburn.

The scoring for both teams improved in the second, with neither team able to pull away from the other. Bowen knocked down a deep three and a mid range jumper to get her total to 11 by the half. But UNK continued to go shot for shot with the Ichabods, and never allowed them to take the lead in the quarter. In the midst of the second, Bowens picked up her second foul and was forced to the bench, where foul trouble would keep her for a majority of the game. This was no surprise to head coach Ron McHenry.

“They do a nice job of taking our post player out of the game,” McHenry said “they did it up there (in the first game), we’ve been through a stretch of games here where we haven’t really got into foul trouble and had to go deep in the bench, so it was nice to see when we had to go with Bowens out we could still hold court.”

At the half, the Ichabods trailed by a score of 31-29, with Washburn shooting a meager 33.3 percent from the field and only 18 percent (2 of 11) from three point range.

No different from the first two, the third quarter was hotly contested, with both teams playing tight defense. Neither team scored more than 15 in the period, but Washburn was able to get the edge. Bowen was able to put one in from the right block near the end of the quarter to give Washburn a one point lead, 43-42 going into the final quarter of play.

Without a single point through three quarters, it was only a matter of time until freshman point guard Reagan Phelan got going, and that she did in the final stanza. After Erin Dohnalek starting off the scoring for Washburn in the fourth with a corner three, Phelan then scored a layup off a steal followed by a bucket and a foul, which stretched the Washburn lead. The offensive boost from Phelan along with one more three ball from Bowen helped the ichabods to pull away, and when the dust settled, Washburn came out on top in the game by a wider margin than most would have thought after the first three quarters, 68-58. The Ichabods were lead in scoring by Jharian Bowen, who had 16 points.

“I think our ball movement was good,” Bowen said. “I was getting open looks from my teammates. We were moving the ball and that allowed me to get open looks and score.”

After a loss against Fort Hays State University on Saturday, the Ichabods will look to bounce back on the road in St. Joseph, where they will take on Missouri Western State University, Feb. 7 at 5:30 p.m.