The Washburn women’s basketball team was on fire from behind the arc Wednesday afternoon, as they converted on 12-of-16 attempts from three-point land, helping the Ichabods knock off sixth-ranked Saint Anselm by the score of 91-86. Five Ichabods finished in double-figure scoring, led by Reagan Phelan who dropped 25 points. With the victory, Washburn improves to 5-4 and hands Saint Anselm its first loss of the season as the Hawks are now 7-1.
Coming into the contest, the Hawks were ranked sixth in the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II Poll and fourth in the D2SIDA Media Poll. The victory marks the first time the Ichabods defeated a top-10 team since they topped No. 7 Central Missouri in Topeka on Dec. 8, 2018.
Washburn finished the game shooting 53.7 percent (29-of-54) from the floor and a program record-setting percentage of 75 from behind the three-point line. The Ichabods also put on a strong showing at the charity stripe, making 21-of-25 (84 percent). The Hawks out-rebounded the Ichabods, 44-30, with 19 offensive boards which they converted into 17 points.
It was back and forth scoring to start the game as neither team led by more than two points during the opening 10 minutes. A jump shot by Hayley Thompson with 32 seconds left in the first quarter would give the Ichabods a 20-19 lead that they would carry into the second.
At the 8:40 mark in the second quarter, Thompson hit another jumper to put Washburn back in front by one, 22-21, and sparked a 7-0 Washburn scoring run to take a lead they would hold for the remainder of the game. Hunter Bentley drained back-to-back triples to give Washburn a double-digit lead of 28-26 with 4:16 left in the opening half. The Hawks fought their way back and got within four, 41-37, but an old fashioned three-point play by Reagan Phelan with six seconds left sent Washburn into the break with a 44-37 lead.
Washburn came out of the half hot as the team outscored their opponents 23-13 in the third frame. The Ichabods finished the third quarter 7-of-12 (58.3 percent) from the field while going 4-of-5 from deep and making 5-of-6 shots from the free throw line. Bentley hit a pair of free throws to close out the quarter to put Washburn up, 67-50.
Another Thompson jumper early in the final period gave Washburn its largest lead of the night, going up 19. The Hawks, having only made three triples in the first quarter, went 4-of-7 from behind the three-point line and 12-of-25 overall from the field as they furiously chipped away at Washburn’s lead to get within three, 84-81, with 46 seconds left. As time was running out, Saint Anselm was forced to foul and the Ichabods converted on five of their final six free throw attempts to hold on for the 91-86 victory.
Phelan recorded a double-double with a team-high 25 points and 10 assists. Shelbe Piggie, Alexis McAfee, and Bentley each chipped in 14 points. Bentley also played a big role defensively as she pulled down seven boards and made three steals. Thompson scored a career-high 12 points.
The Hawks were led by Peyton Steinman, who finished with 34 points and 10 rebounds. Shannon Ryan also added a double-double with 26 points and 20 rebounds.
The Ichabods will conclude their time at the Cruzin’ Classic tomorrow (Thursday, Dec. 19) against Harding at 4:30 p.m. central time.