The Washburn Ichabods battled down to the final minute but came up short in a 73-68 loss to the No. 2-ranked Northwest Missouri Bearcats on Saturday afternoon in Lee Arena. Washburn will be back in action on Thursday at Nebraska-Kearney at 7:30 p.m.
In the first half, the Ichabods (8-6, 3-2 MIAA) trailed by six at the break after shooting 68 percent from the field hitting 13 of 19 shots overall as Tyler Geiman scored 11 of is 13 points in the opening stanza. Geiman connected on a 3-pointer with 7:47 to go to give the Ichabods a 24-22 lead, but seven straight points by the Bearcats (15-1, 5-1 MIAA) pushed the lead to 29-24. Northwest hit 16 of 28 shots and 5 of 11 from deep.
Northwest pushed the lead to 11 at 46-35 scoring the first five points of the second half but the Ichabods used a 14-3 run over the next 4:56 tying the game at 49. After a 3-pointer and a lay up by the Bearcats, stretching the lead to three at 54-51, Washburn used a 9-2 run going up 60-56 capped by a Jalen Lewis jumper with 7:31 remaining.
Northwest tied the score at 62 with 4:17 to play, then Washburn went back up 65-62 when Lewis was fouled on a 3-point attempt with 3:57 left. An 8-0 by the Bearcats put them up 70-65 with 47 seconds to play as Washburn missed both field goal attempts and the Bearcats hit all six free throw attempts going up five.
A Lewis 3-pointer with 23 seconds left cut the Bearcat advantage to two at 70-68, but the Bearcats hit their final free throw attempts and Washburn’s final field goal attempts missed as the Bearcats held on for the win.
Lewis led the Ichabods with 19 points going 6 of 11 from the field and 4 of 5 from 3-point range while Geiman finished with 13 points. Jace Williams scored nine points off the bench for Washburn. Geiman also had six assists and five rebounds.
Ryan Hawkins led Northwest with 32 points as three different Bearcats played all 40 minutes.
Washburn finished 26 of 46 from the field hitting 57 percent overall while Northwest was 23 of 44 overall at 52 percent. Washburn was 7 of 13 from the free throw line while the Bearcats were 20 of 26 including 16 of 22 in the second half.
Northwest held a 30 to 19 advantage on the glass turning 10 offensive rebounds into 12 points. The Ichabods forced 12 turnovers leading to 14 points and both team scored 32 points in the paint.