The Washburn men’s basketball team sits at a six-win streak on an undefeated record after finishing their time away in Puerto Rico over Thanksgiving break, where they played and won all three of their games.
While the team had Thanksgiving itself off, they spent the rest of their break Nov. 23-26 playing in the 2016 Puerto Rico Clasico. The Washburn men’s first match on Nov. 23 was against Northwood University, whom they defeated 66-64. Some of the key players in the Northwood game were Javion Blake and Brady Skeens, who scored 14 and 12 points respectively. Overall the game was kept close, but Washburn pulled out the victory in the end.
In contrast, Washburn’s stats easily dominated their second game of the Clasico against Universidad Metropolitana, where they won 86-61 with a .429 field goal percentage to UMET’s .358. Cameron Wiggins was the point leader for this game, with a total of 19 points. One of the other important players to note is Brady Skeens, who earned his second double-double of the season with 10 points and 13 rebounds during the game.
The final game of the Clasico for Washburn was against Lubbock Christian University, where they won in another close game 65-63. Although the game was close, the field goal percentages say otherwise, with Washburn holding a .45 to Lubbock’s .379. Lubbock the first half, 32-29, but Washburn managed to pull through in the end, thanks to Randall Smith, Cameron Wiggins and David Salach. Smith ended the game with 14 points, while Wiggins and Salach each had 13, over half the team’s points were generated from these three players in this game.
Conference season hasn’t started yet, so we can’t read too much into the Washburn men’s undefeated status, but the confidence boost going forward should help propel the team forward once the conference does start Dec. 7 against Fort Hays State. The only other team in the MIAA who is currently undefeated in their nonconference games is Northwest Missouri, so if Washburn can keep up this pace they should rocket straight through the competition in the conference.
Until then, Washburn still has two home games occurring on Dec. 1 and Dec. 3 against Manhattan Christian College and Newman University respectively. Both games are at Lee arena, and you can check them out at 7 p.m. for the MCC game and 2 p.m. for the Newman game.