Washburn Women’s basketball fall to Fort Hays State

Brenden Williams

Women’s basketball battled the Fort Hays State Tigers inside Lee Arena on February 4. Coming into the game, Fort Hays State looked to gain the number 6 spot in the MIAA conference held by Washburn who entered the game coming off an 11 point win against Nebraska-Kearney.

The first quarter kicked off with multiple empty possessions for both teams, neither able to get the lid off the basket until the middle of the quarter. Washburn was the first to strike with two free throws from Reagan Phelan, followed by a quick three from Fort Hays midway through the first. Washburn led 13-8 at the end of the first and was clearly the more physical team through the first quarter, grabbing 13 rebounds to Fort Hays’ 8 total.

The second quarter started with both teams struggling to score and generating turnovers from poor passing. Washburn’s Erika Lane and Reagan Phelan expanded the Ichabod’s lead to 26-12, shooting back to back threes with just over half of the second to play.

Alyxis Bowens showed her physicality on the floor, putting up multiple baskets during the second as well as grabbing steals and rebounds at will throughout the quarter.

The Ichabods started the second half strong, both offensively and defensively, scoring 10 in the first 3 minutes and allowing only a three until the 7 minute mark. The Ichabods turnovers started becoming costly, losing the ball multiple times and allowing fast break points to the Tigers. Their lead was diminished to only 11 with 5 minutes remaining in the 3rd.

A full timeout was all the Tigers needed to start a fire and claw their way back into the game. With just under 3 to play in the 3rd, the Washburn lead was cut to 42-39. A free throw and another steal gave Jill Faxon of the Tigers the chance to take the lead with a wide open three from the top of the key, which was followed by back to back jump shots for Fort Hays. Washburn struggled offensively in the final minutes of the third while the Tigers jumped on their ineffective offense and broke away, even nailing a halfcourt shot to beat the buzzer. At the start of the fourth, the score was 50-44, with Washburn trailing.

The fourth quarter started off with a basket a piece for each team. The Ichabods turned to cutting and backdoor passing to score but nothing seemed to fall until Erin Dohnalek’s turnaround jumper with just 5 minutes to play, cutting the Tiger’s lead to 54-48. A steal led to a Reagan Phelan layup and an offensive foul on the Tigers gave the Ichabods the ball back with just under 4 minutes remaining. A three with a minute remaining for the Tigers gave them a 7 point cushion that the Ichabods cut into quickly with a score from Alyxis Bowens. Two quick baskets from Erika Lane for 2 and Erin Dohnalek for 3, brought the game within one possession, 59-57 in favor of the Tigers, with just 26 seconds remaining. The Tigers went 1 for 2 on their next two free throws and the Ichabods missed the tying three. The Tigers hit another free throw giving Washburn a 4 point deficit to overcome with 5 seconds left. A last second three by Erin Dohnalek brought the game within 1 as time expired, the Ichabods falling to the Tigers 61-60.