Washburn and Central Oklahoma squared off Saturday afternoon in a close contest that saw 10 lead changes with neither team leading by more than seven points at any part in the game. The home team Central Oklahoma came out on top, though, by the score of 74-73 as the Ichabods’ half court buzzer beater attempt hit the back of the rim and bounced off to the side.
UCO is now 9-4 on the season while WU is 6-7.
The Bronchos led 9-4 at the 7:28 mark in the opening quarter, but the Ichabods responded with a 7-0 run and made 3-for-3 from the field. Both teams traded buckets and evened the score at 11, 14, and ended the quarter tied at 16.
Abby Oliver broke the tie early in the second quarter with a layup, but a three-pointer by the Bronchos gave them a 19-18 lead. Hunter Bentley made a free throw to start a 5-0 mini run and give Washburn a 23-19 advantage. A pair of made free throws by UCO knotted up the score at 28-all, but Washburn closed out the half with four-straight points to lead 32-28.
The three-ball started falling for the Bronchos in the third as they chipped away at the deficit. They made 4-of-4 from deep in just under four minutes and took a 44-42 lead with 1:40 on the clock and entered the fourth quarter in front, 47-45.
Mackenzie Gamble drained a three-pointer to start the fourth frame and give Washburn a one point lead. She hit another triple 47 seconds later to even the score at 51 at the 7:58 mark. Central Oklahoma put together a 10-4 run and made 8-of-8 from the free throw line during that run and led by six, 61-55, with 5:44 left in regulation. The Ichabods fought back and tied up the game at 65 and 67 before taking a 69-67 advantage after a pair of free throws by Hunter Bentley with one minute on the clock.
With 39 seconds to go, the Bronchos buried a three to go back in front and did not give up the lead again. Washburn got within one point twice with free throws from Bentley and then Nuria Barrientos made a pair from the charity stripe, but the Ichabods’ half court heave didn’t fall.
The Ichabods shot the ball well and had a field goal percentage above 40.0 in every quarter and ended the afternoon making 24-of-50 for 48.0 percent. Central Oklahoma was 23-of-56 for a 41.1 field goal percentage. Washburn was 6-for-15 from behind the three-point line while Central Oklahoma made 8-of-17 from deep. Washburn held a slight edge on the boards, 34-31.
Four Ichabods finished in double-digits led by Bentley with 24 points, making 13-of-14 from the charity stripe. Mackenzie Gamble found her groove behind the arc and was 5-of-7 from deep and finished with a career-high 19 points. Barrientos had 13 points and Oliver chipped in 12. Lauren Cassaday grabbed nine rebounds.
The Bronchos were led by Kelsey Johnson who had 24 points and eight boards.
Washburn returns home for two games next week against Rogers State (Feb. 4) and Northeastern State (Feb. 6).