The 12-9 Washburn Ichabods men’s basketball team faced off Thursday night against Missouri Southern out of Joplin, Mo. This game was a barn burner from start to finish. Washburn came in rallying to bounce back after a tough loss against Central Missouri.
The Ichabods were seeking a win at Thursday’s game to make a statement in a stacked MIAA conference. They hoped to get to 8-5 in conference play. Following the heartbreaking three-point loss to Central Missouri, the team focused on bringing strength — a feat they accomplished with style.
Blazing through the gate, the Ichabods carried their heat for the remainder of the first half. You could tell it would be a physical game out of the jump, and it did not disappoint. Collectively, the teams scored 78 points in the paint: 46 by the Lions and 32 for the Bods. It was a battle of the big men that night, both sides feeding the post early and often.
Washburn dominated the first half scoring 47 points, led by junior guard Drew Maschoff with 17 points. After three straight three-pointers from Maschoff, the Bods were on a 10-0 run forcing the Lions into taking a premature timeout.
“I felt a rhythm even throughout the shoot around today; my shot felt good. It kept going in and gave us energy out of the gate,” said Maschoff.
For defense, the Bods switched it up a little more than usual due to trouble down low, having had two of their three big men foul out early in the second half.
“We gotta beat the guy to the spot in the post, try to make them catch it further out. When they call it tight like they did tonight, it’s gonna be a challenge. We need to take advantage of a quick whistle like that better,” said Head Coach Bret Ballard.
The Lions shifted on defense as well forcing the Bods to play at a faster pace, jumping into a 2-3 zone and a full court trap. That did not stop the Bods from running the score up on them at all. At halftime, the score was 47-34. Washburn led by 13, with Maschoff’s stellar stat line of 17 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists in the first.
However, Missouri Southern came out of the locker room on fire and snagged momentum during the second. The Lions quickly brought it within five at the 15-minute mark. In the second, the Ichabods took many threes while MOSO kept feeding junior forward, Cam Martin, who eventually finished the game with 40 points.
The Lions seized the lead with 12 minutes left in the game going on a 18-0 run; junior guard Tyler Geiman, had enough going on his own 7-0 run and brought the Bods back within two with 8:47 left.
“I’m always thinking about staying in attack mode, always cutting and moving,” said Gieman.
Finally, the Ichabods were down by five with 30 seconds left when sophomore guard, Jalen Lewis, hit a clutch three to bring the score within 2 again. Unfortunately for the Bods, the team ultimately fell short 91-87 in a physical up-tempo game. Still, Washburn was not short of scoring that night having four in double digits. Drew Maschoff and Tyler Geiman finished with 20 for the Bods, along with 18 from Jonny Clausing and 15 from Jalen Lewis. The Bods will look to bounce back Saturday as they face the Pittsburg State Gorillas in a big time, in-state match-up.
Edited by Hannah Alleyne, Adam White, Jada Johnson