The 15-9 (9-6 MIAA) Washburn Ichabods women's basketball team faced off Thursday night against the 21-4 Central Missouri Jennies, who are ranked 20th in the country. The bods came into the night looking to continue playing basketball after a big win against the Rodgers State squad on Saturday. Thursday night's game was a pink out for Washburn, the bods wore all pink for Breast cancer awareness- the Jennies were in Black. The Jennies top the MIAA conference with a 15-1 record.
The women's team was on a four-game winning streak coming into the night playing sound proof basketball. Washburn scored in transition on Saturday with 22 fast break points and got everyone involved with 20 bench points. The bods shot 45% from the floor getting close to their season average. They moved the ball really well with 20 assists.
Washburn struggled out of the gate down 14-0. The Jennies came out hot scoring 14 straight and playing good defense. The bods lacked a little energy early on, making Head Coach McHenry take a couple timeouts. Washburn closed the gap getting back into it with big three-pointers, forcing turnovers on the defensive end. Washburn continued to switch up defenses throughout the first quarter to try and handle the size and ball movement of the Jennies. The first quarter ended with the bods down nine, 19-10.
Washburn kept fighting in the second quarter, not giving up any easy points on the defensive end and hitting tough shots on the offensive end. Central Missouri got the ball into the paint and played inside out basketball. They got the ball inside and drew double teams, which led to open threes. Shelbe Piggie lifted the bods out of the shooting drought dropping 10 points in the first with contested threes and layups. Nothing came easy for the bods against the 20th ranked team in the country.
The half ended with the Bods down 38-23. Leading the way for Washburn was senior guard Shelbe Piggie with 10 points. For the Jennies, No. 22 Morgan Fleming had 11 points, many from deep range, and No. 20 Megan Skaggs had 10 for the Jennies.
The bods came out in a 3-2 trap defense to try and confuse the Jennies. Washburn forced turnovers and contested threes early. Having active hands on the defensive end led to three straight turnovers. Mixing it up on defense was something coach McHenry focused on.
The Jennies were hot from the three point line and hit several deep threes late in the shot clock. The tough shots for UCM kept falling and extended the lead to 53-34 half way through the third. Reagan Phelan controlled the floor for Washburn doing most of the ball handling and got a big one with 1:45 left in the third quarter. This gave Washburn some energy going into the fourth. The third quarter ended at 58-39, UCM.
“We really tried to fight back in the second, but it really got away from us in the first,” said Phelan.
The fourth quarter started out with a bang, with Washburn going on 8-0 with big buckets from Shelbe Piggie and junior guard Hunter Bentley. The Ichabods brought it within 10 points at the one minute mark, making it a game in the end. Washburn finished strong, but it wasn't enough. They were defeated with 70-59 and fell to 15-10 for the year.
“Tonight they made their shots. We got into some foul trouble early and had to go deep into our bench. Everyone in this conference is tough so, we're going to be ready to play and send our seniors out the right way on Saturday,” said Head Coach Ron McHenry.
Shelbe Piggie led the way for the Bods finishing with 25 points.
“I was just trying to be aggressive and attack them. We started off really slow so, someone needed to step up and get a bucket," said Piggie.
The Bods look to bounce back Saturday afternoon for senior day against Lincoln University out of Jefferson City, Missouri, at 1 p.m. in Lee Arena.
Edited by Adam White, Diana Martinez-Ponce, Jason Morrison