In a game that saw 10 lead changes and seven ties including three lead changes in the final 46 seconds, Tyler Geiman connected on a 3-pointer at the buzzer from 10-feet on the Northwest Missouri side of half court as the Ichabods won their sixth MIAA Tournament Championship in a thrilling 69-68 win over the No. 1 Bearcats for their first MIAA Tournament title since 2012.
After Diego Bernard hit a pair of free throws with 2.7 seconds left after an Ichabod foul after a Washburn miss, Jace Williams inbounded the ball to Geiman who launched the ball after a pair of dribbles from what is the volleyball 10-foot line on the court hitting nothing but net sending the Ichabods to the title and the MIAA’s Automatic Qualifier for the NCAA Division II National Championship Tournament. Seeding will be announced on Sunday night.
Northwest Missouri (23-2) led by four with 5:31 to go on a 3-pointer by MIAA MVP Trevor Hudgins giving him 18 points as the Bearcats went up 56-52. A 3-pointer by Connor Deffebaugh pulled the Ichabods within one with 5:01 to play. MIAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player Jalen Lewis hit two free throws putting the Ichabods back in front and then would hit a 3-pointer with 3:52 to play giving the Ichabods a 60-57 lead.
A Bernard layup and two more free throws by Deffebaugh with 2:31 to play, Washburn led 62-59. Two free throws by Hawkins cut the lead back to one at 64-63 and then two more free throws with 1:14 to play put the Bearcats back in front at 65-64. A Geiman layup with 46 seconds to play set the scene for the final 46 seconds and the win for Washburn.
The Ichabods led 30-19 at the break on the strength of 52 percent shooting from the field paced by Jalen Lewis’ 6 of 8 from the field hitting 3 of 5 3-point attempts. With the score tied at 10 with 11:13 to play in the frame, Lewis scored seven-straight points for Washburn pushing the lead to 17-10. After a pair of Bearcat free throws, Washburn kicked off a 10-3 run on another bucket by Lewis followed by a layup and another 3-pointer from Lewis and a deep 3-pointer from Geiman stretched the lead to 27-15 under four minutes to play. Washburn scored four-straight points before a 3-pointer by Tyler Nelson before the buzzer increased the lead to 11 after a 3-pointer attempt by the Bearcats rimmed out.
Behind Lewis’ 26 points, Geiman finished with 23 points and was named to the all-MIAA Tournament team. Washburn was 24 of 44 from the field and 10 of 21 overall from deep. The Bearcats were led by Hawkins and his 23 points. Washburn was 11 of 12 from the free throw line and the Bearcats were 26 of 31.