The Washburn Ichabods will advance to their fourth MIAA Tournament Championship game in the last five years after a 79-65 win over the top-seeded Central Oklahoma Bronchos. Washburn will face Northwest Missouri on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. in Municipal Auditorium. Washburn (21-9) picked up its eighth-straight win in the victory.
Central Oklahoma (24-6) jumped out to a 14-9 lead with 12:03 to play in the first half before the Ichabods came back with a 5-0 mini run of their own tying the score at 14. After UCO cut the lead down to four at 23-19, the Ichabods used a 10-2 run capped by back-to-back 3-pointers by Tyler Geiman pushed the margin to 12 leading to a UCO timeout. Washburn led by as many as 13 in the frame on another 3-pointer by Geiman as the Ichabods took a 39-32 lead into the halftime break.
Washburn had its lead cut down to three at 55-52 with 11:34 to go until a 23-3 run by the Ichabods stretched the lead to 17 and UCO did not get closer than 12 the rest of the game as Washburn picked up wins against UCO in two of three meetings this season.
The Ichabods had four starters in double figures led by Jonny Clausing’s 18 points recorded a double double with 11 rebounds. Geiman finished with 17 points adding seven assists. Jalen Lewis finished with 15 and Connor Deffebaugh had 10. Michael Keegan had seven points but added a career-high 15 rebounds with 12 defensive.
Washburn held the highest scoring team in the MIAA to 33 percent shooting and outrebounded the Bronchos 46 to 38. The Ichabods hit a season-high 14 3-pointers in 28 attempts. UCO did hit 19 of 23 free throws compared to 9 of 17 from the free throw lane. Washburn did outscore UCO 26 to 18 in the paint.