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Ichabods Advance to Semifinals with Win Over Hornets

For the first time since six seasons, the Washburn Ichabod women’s basketball team advanced to the semifinal round of the MIAA Tournament as they pulled out a 61-53 victory over rival No. 5-seed Emporia State on Friday night at Municipal Auditorium.

With the result, Washburn improved to 6-2 over the Lady Hornets in the MIAA postseason, while notching back-to-back 20-win seasons.

Trailing 43-41 at the end of the third, Washburn (20-9) rallied in the fourth as it converted 8-of-12 from the field with 3-of-6 from three-point distance. Reagan Phelan drained a three to open the period, sparking a 9-0 run with contributions from Alexis McAfee and Nicole Murugarren.

With 3:13 remaining, Emporia State (22-8) pulled within four points, but that was the closest it came as the Ichabods pushed their advantage to as much as nine during the final 60 seconds.

Murugarren paced a quartet of double-figure scorers for Washburn, finishing with 15 points on an efficient 6-of-7 shooting. Hunter Bentley followed with 14 points, while McAfee and Phelan registered 12 and 10, respectively. McAfee also finished with 10 rebounds, for her second double-double of the season.

The Ichabod defense however was the difference maker as it held Emporia State to a season-low 17 field goals and tied a season-low as it finished below .275 shooting for just the second-time all season.

Washburn 15-13 after the first, before rattling off an 11-2 run to begin the second. The Lady Hornets answered with a 5-0 spurt before a late layup with 25 seconds left in the half gave them a 26-25 lead. Makayla Vargo though hit a last second runner nudging the Ichabods to a 27-26 advantage at the break.

The Ichabods return to action on Saturday at 6 pm as they square off with top-seeded Fort Hays State.

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