Washburn women’s basketball opened its conference schedule on Thursday in decisive fashion as it steamrolled past outbound Southwest Baptist, 73-50, at Lee Arena. The Ichabods (3-4, 1-0 MIAA) were led by three double-figure scorers, while the team shot a season-best 47.6 percent from the field as they made 30 of 63 attempts.
Hunter Bentley led the way with game-highs 15 points and eight rebounds. Reagan Phelan followed with 13 points and dished out a game-best six assists, while Shelbe Piggie added 10 points to the cause. Taylor Blue chipped in with six points while pulling down seven boards.
Washburn trailed during the opening 17 seconds due to an administrative foul, but shot out of the gates once the ball was tipped as it went on a 6-2 run and never looked back. From there it was all Ichabods as they knocked down 11 of 14 field goals while going 3-for-5 from three-point range.
Leading 25-8 to start the second, the Ichabod offense cooled a little as it accounted for just four of the 11 opening points. The Washburn margin though was held in-tact with a three-pointer from Bentley at 4:37 to make it 34-20. The Bearcats outscored Washburn, 20-18, in the period but it was the Ichabods who held a hearty 43-28 advantage at the break.
The Ichabods started the second half guns blazing as they opened with an 8-0 run. During the opening sequence Alexis McAfee and Bentley landed back-to-back shots from long-range before Nicole Murugarren powered her way to basket for a layup to make it 51-29 at the 8:15 mark. Much like the opening stanza, Washburn dictated the tempo hitting nine of 19 from the field with three-for-seven from deep while the Ichabod defense was stingy allowing just eight points as SBU made three of 13 from the floor and headed to the fourth with a 64-36 advantage.
SBU outscored Washburn 14-9 in the fourth, but the effort was not effort to trouble the Ichabods who claimed a 73-50 victory.
The Ichabod bench played a considerable role in the result as it outscored SBU, 21-16 in the second half.
Washburn also though dominated the paint at both ends pacing the Bearcats, 42-26, while finding the bottom of the net on transition with a 12-0 margin in fast-break points.
Washburn will return to MIAA action Saturday when it hosts defending national champion, Central Missouri with tip-off is slated for 1 pm. Saturday’s contest will also be the annual Toys for Tots game, as fans attending as encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy for donation.