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Murugarren’s Career Night Lifts Ichabods

A  dominating fourth quarter on Thursday night helped the Washburn Ichabods to a 73-60 victory over Northeastern State as they improved to 16-7 and 11-3 in the MIAA. The Ichabods, which claimed sole possession of second in the league standings, were paced by Nicole Murugarren’s career-night who netted 18 points and had 15 rebounds. As a result, Murugarren is the first player to tally least 15 points and 15 boards in a game since Brittany Lynch has 20 and 17 at Southwest Baptist on Dec. 5, 2013.

Leading by a narrow 47-46 margin to begin the fourth, Washburn opened the period with a quick 10-0 run as Murugarren sparked the rally with back-to-back buckets before Taylor Blue and Cara Donley knocked consecutive threes. The Ichabods then took a 65-50 advantage with 2:47 to go as they netted eight of the next 10 points. Murugarren again fronted the push, this time with five points, while Hunter Bentley chipped in with three of her seven on the night.

Northeastern State cut the margin to 11 with 1:14 remaining, but the effort was not enough as Washburn was smooth was the charity stripe, converting 5-of-6 chances in the final minute and finished the game shooting 14-of-19 from the line.

Washburn shot .391 for the game, as it converted 27-of-69 attempts from the floor and 5-of-15 from behind the arc, while the defense held the RiverHawks (6-17, 3-11 MIAA) to 19-of-62 shooting though they were 7-of-17 from three-point distance.

The RiverHawks lead 14-13 after the opening frame. Behind a 9-0 run to open and a 9-4 stretch to close the Washburn rallied in the second by a slim 33-30 margin at the break before keen outside shooting from NSU helped it to edge out a 16-14 third.

On the glass, Washburn overwhelmed Northeastern State, 52-36, as it finished with three double-figure rebounders. In addition to Murugarren’s 15, Blue and Bentley each pulled down 10 apiece.

Blue also netted 14 points for her third double-double of the year. Reagan Phelan also had 14 as she finished with four assists and three steals, while Alexis McAfee added 13 points. Defensively Annette Warner was impressive, notching her third five-block performance of season.

Washburn returns to action at Lee Arena on Saturday at 1 pm as it faces Central Oklahoma. At halftime of Saturday’s contest, Washburn will celebrate its 50th season women’s basketball and other women’s sports. All alumni and fans are encouraged to take part in the festivities

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