The Washburn Ichabods trailed by as many as 14 but cut it back to three late but couldn’t get over the hump as they fell 61-55 at Emporia State. Washburn will wrap up the regular season hosting Central Missouri on Saturday at 7 p.m. as five Ichabod seniors will be honored in pregame festivities.
The Hornets (13-12, 8-9 MIAA) led 27-21 at the break after finishing the half on a 9-0 run holding the Ichabods (18-7, 11-6 MIAA) without a field goal for the final 5:17. The Ichabods led 21-18 after a pair of free throws with 4:47 remaining prior to the Hornets run. The Ichabods struggled from the field hitting 6 of 29 shots in the opening stanza going 1 of 8 from 3-point range. Washburn did go 8-8 of from the free throw line.
A swipe and steal by Will McNeill put a halt to a 16-0 Hornet run Washburn within 11 at 34-23. Five straight more by McNeill and a lay up by WIggins put Washburn down four at 34-30 with 14:18 to go in the game.
The Hornets would push their lead back to 12 at 44-32 with 10:33 to play in the game before the Ichabods would cut the lead back to seven at 5:50 to play after a pair of Joseph Smith free throws.
A 3-pointer by the Hornets put the lead back to double digits at 50-40 with 5:29 to go in the game, but Washburn trimmed the lead back to three after a dunk by Bobby Chipman ad four straight points by Smith pulling Washburn back within three at 53-50.
After the Hornets went back up six with 1:49 to go, Washburn had two free throws by McNeill. Two more free throws by ESU was answered by a 3-pointer by Wiggins with 23 seconds left cutting the lead to 58-55 would be the closest the Ichabods would get the rest of the game as the Hornets finished 3 of 4 free throws down the stretch.
McNeill led the Ichabods with 27 points going 10 of 14 from the free throw line adding six rebounds and four steals. Joseph Smith had 12 points as the only other Ichabod to reach double figures. Chipman led the team with nine rebounds and had two blocks.
Paul Bunch had 15 to lead the Hornets.
The Ichabods were 17 of 60 from the field going 3 of 17 from 3-point range in the game. ESU finished 20 of 48 overall and 17 of 24 from the free throw line compared to 18 of 22 by the Ichabods.
ESU held a 37 to 34 advantage on the glass. Washburn had 15 offensive rebounds leading to 13 second chance points. Washburn turned 21 Hornet turnovers into 23 points.