Three double-figure scorers was not enough for a 10th consecutive victory on Saturday as the Washburn women’s basketball team fell to No. 3 Fort Hays State, 59-51, ending a season-best nine-game win streak. The result also marked the Ichabods’ first conference loss of the season, as it slipped to 6-1 in the MIAA and slid to 11-5 overall.
Taylor Blue led Washburn scorers with 14 points, including 10 in the second half, behind 5-for-13 shooting while stepping back and going 2-for-7 from three-point distance. Alexis McAfee finished with 11 while Nicole Murugarren chipped in with 10 while pulling down a team-high six rebounds.
Washburn was inconsistent offensively in the first half as it shot 36 percent from the field, while converting on 9-of-25 attempts, with a frosty 0-for-8 behind the arc.
The Ichabods netted the game’s opening points before Fort Hays State (16-1, 7-1 MIAA) accounted for nine of the next 11 points and never looked back.
Trailing 19-12 after the opening frame, the Washburn deficit widened in the second as FHSU took a 34-20 lead into the break.
Trailing by as much as 17 midway through the third, the Ichabods cut the 13 as they pieced together a 6-2 run, pushing the score to 43-30 with 2:46 before eventually heading to the fourth at 47-32.
In the fourth, Blue shouldered an 8-0 spurt for the Ichabods, sandwiching a McAfee fast-break layup with a pair of three-pointers to cut the deficit to single-figures, 49-40, with 7:25 to play. The sides then traded blows until Washburn further trimmed into the FHSU margin thanks to a 5-0 spurt with help, making it 53-47 with 2:11remaining, as McAfee drained a three while Murugarren added a pair from the charity stripe.
Washburn fought to hold onto a six-point difference with 35 seconds remaining but the effort was not enough as the Tigers added points from the line late to put it out of reach.
The Ichabods finished the afternoon shooting .363 as they made 21-of-58 from the floor but struggled from distance as they went 3-for-18 from long range, while FHSU was 21-for-55 from the field, good for .382. Washburn was edged out in rebounds, 38-34, but held a advantages in points off turnovers, 17-10, and bench points, 14-3.
Action will resume for Washburn on Wednesday when the team visits the Show Me State as it takes on Missouri Southern in Joplin with tip off scheduled for 5:30 pm.