The last time the Washburn men’s basketball team played Pitt State was earlier this season on Jan. 17. Pitt State dominated the Ichabods by blowing them away 82-40. That was one of the worst losses in Washburn basketball history.
Saturday night the men’s team wrapped up their regular season by hosting Pitt State for a rematch. It was Senior Night and the home team had every reason to want payback against the Gorillas.
Before the game, the four seniors on the team, Korey Fisher, Algie Key, Kyle Wiggins and Alex North, were honored for their hard work and contribution to Washburn and the basketball program.
All four seniors started the game along with freshman Jeremy Lickteig. Lickteig had a huge block that deflected the ball to half court and led to a transition layup by Korey Fisher to score the first points of the game.
The two teams were neck and neck most of the first half and neither team could create separation. Washburn was led by the hot shooting of Fisher and Andy Wilson in the first half, who both had a combined eleven points. WU went into the locker room with a 26-24 lead.
The first half was mostly highlighted by solid defense. Neither team was hitting very many shots and did a poor job of taking care of the ball. WU was shooting 32 percent from the field and 27 percent from 3-point range. PSU was shooting 37 percent from the field but went 0-8 from behind the arc.
The turnovers continued for WU to begin the second half as they allowed PSU to pull back in front 32-28. But after two more 3-pointers by Andy Wilson, the Ichabods were back in the lead. The turning point in the game was after the score was tied 39-39 halfway through the second half. After this point WU would go on a 22-4 run over the next nine minutes. The run included two 3-pointers from Korey Fisher, a David Salach alley-oop from Algie Key, three buckets from Kyle Wiggins and an Alex North 3-pointer. All four seniors were contributing on their special night.
WU went on to win 63-48. They got sweet revenge and the bad taste out of their mouths from the last time they played PSU.
WU improved their field goal percentage in the second half and finished shooting 39 perecent. The Bods were successful from the free throw line and finished 11-12 from the charity stripe. The Washburn defense held PSU to shooting 37 percent from the field, 18 percent from the 3-point line and forced the Gorillas to turn it over 15 times.
Washburn was led in scoring by Fisher and Wiggins, who both finished with 13 points. Andy Wilson hit four 3-pointers and finished with 12 points. The other two seniors also contributed. North had 8 points and 6 rebounds and Key finished with 4 assists and 2 steals.
North and Wiggins have both scored over 1000 points in their careers at Washburn. This season is the first time in WU history that there have been two players in the 1000 point category on the same team.
WU finished the regular season with a 15-15 overall record and a 10-9 record in the MIAA. They will be the 8 seed in the MIAA tournament and will host the 9 seed Fort Hays State Monday at 7 p.m. in Lee Arena.