The Washburn women’s basketball team held Northeastern State to single digits through nearly three quarters, rolling to an 85-27 win on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at Lee Arena.
WU (14-11, 10-9 MIAA) scored the first 20 points of the game, not allowing a RiverHawk basket until the 48 second mark of the first quarter.
It was the stellar defense that gave the Ichabods such a dominating win, limiting NSU to a 17.2 field goal percentage and just a 4-of-29 effort from beyond the arc.
Great defense turned to great offense as Washburn racked up 15 points off of turnovers and nine fast break points in the game. Rebounding was also a big factor as Washburn just missed a 60-rebounding effort with a season-high 59 boards.
The 27 points is the fewest Washburn has ever allowed in an MIAA contest, and is just four points more than the MIAA record for fewest points in a conference game.
The first quarter opened up with five straight points from Jharian Bowen, putting Washburn up early and never looking back. Three steals, two by Alyxis Bowens and one by Erika Lane, helped spring the lead to 20-0 before Northeastern State hit their first basket of the game with 48 seconds to go. Haley Pfau, player of the game, sunk her first shot at the end of the quarter, pushing Washburn’s lead to 22-3.
“We were forcing them to move the ball around,” said Washburn head coach Ron McHenry. “Our defense helped us transition to offense. Their best player didn’t even make a field goal in the first quarter.”
Pfau opened up the second quarter with two 3-point shots, extending Washburn’s lead to 28-5 after Northeastern State made two free throws with 8:51 to play.
Felisha Gibbs and Bowens were making their presence felt by cleaning up the boards on the offensive end combing for eight and the last eight points before Lane joined in on the fun, sealing it with a 3-point shot of her own ending the quarter on a 11-2 run and sending the Ichabods into halftime with a comfortable 41-7 score. It was too much for the Riverhawks to handle as Washburn shot 78 percent from the field.
The third quarter was not so different as Washburn opened on a scoring run of 10 points pushing the lead to 51-7.
The RiverHawks finally hit their third basket with 4:45 to play making it 51-9. A block and layup by Gibbs, steal by Erin Dohnalek, two 3-point shots by Pfau, and two layups by Bowens all happened within the last four minutes.
Northeastern State sunk their fourth shot of the game with six seconds left in the third quarter. The Ichabods raised their lead to 64-11 heading into the fourth.
The final quarter was a bit more interesting for the fans as Northeastern State scored 16 total points and started the quarter on a 8-2 run.
Dohnalek helped end the dry spell by hitting a three, making it 69-19 with 6:30 left in the game.
Northeastern State went on to score eight more points, only having two free throw attempts in the last five minutes. But that didn’t help as Washburn scored 16 to end the game with the final score of 85-27.
Five Ichabods scored in double-digits, led by Haley Pfau who was six-of-eight from long range and finished with 20 points. Bowen reached double-digits for the third consecutive game and was second on the team with 19 points while Bowens finished with 15 points and Gibbs and Dohnalek each had 10. The bench also contributed with 33 points.
“I got to credit my teammates,” said Pfau on how she was able to have such a great night shooting and earn player of the game honors. “They found me and I wouldn’t have been able to hit any shots if it wasn’t for them.”
Up next is University of Central Oklahoma Feb. 20 at Lee Arena. The match-up between the Ichabods and Bronchos is set for 5 p.m., and is Senior Night for the Ichabods.