On Monday evening, Dec 19, the Washburn Ichabods tipped off against the Lincoln University Blue Tigers. The home team Ichabods would eventually come away with a win after pushing the blue tigers for a majority of the game.
The game started out slow, with both teams missing on a few shots and passes to each other. Then, Washburn turned on, landing two shots in a row. The Blue Tigers responded with a three to catch up, but then the Ichabods ran away on the scoreboard after blocking some shots and out-rebounding the Blue Tigers.
Washburn added on to this attack with accurate three point shooting, extending their lead to 22-6 with less than a minute left in the first quarter. Just as the quarter came to a close, Washburn was fouled, leading to another point gained at the line. The first quarter ended with the Blue Tigers behind by 17 points, and they realized it, coming out with more speed and aggressiveness in the second.
Despite stealing a couple balls and playing more physically, the faster play may have led to some mistakes such as missed passes and turnovers that allowed the Ichabods more chances to score. And score they did, Washburn led 45-25 going into halftime. Throughout the first half, perfect execution in shooting, defense, and ball control kept Washburn ahead of Lincoln.
Washburn started the second half hot, scoring inside multiple times, extending their lead to 51-25. The Blue Tigers came to life, playing fast, sticky defense that had been missing to this point. Their aggressive play resembled a swarm of angry wasps, with up to three players constantly tracking the ball. This method worked wonders, forcing Washburn into several mistakes like travelling and losing the ball several times.
Forward Erin Dohnalek said this about the third quarter struggles, “It all started when they went zone on us. We haven’t seen zone in a while, so we just switched up a couple of things on offense and we went from there.” Lincoln definitely won the third quarter, closing the deficit to six points at 53-47. However, the fourth quarter saw Washburn adjust to the new look defense of Lincoln and jump back out to another double digit lead. They limited their mistakes and stole the ball multiple times to get far enough ahead to play reserves in the closing minutes. The game ended with a 77-66 Washburn victory.
Washburn won this game with dominant play in the paint, scoring 32 points in the paint and grabbing 18 offensive and 33 defensive rebounds. On establishing themselves so dominantly in the paint, Forward Alyxis Bowens said “We just really focused, we know where to find the openings. So it’s definitely something that we know, if we can get the points inside, then we need them. It’s just something that we’ve been really working on and I think that we are just able to put it to the test in the games.” Looking ahead, Washburn is now 9-3 on a three game winning streak. They get to enjoy winter break and then return to action against Peru State on Jan 2.