Trailing by as much 17 during the first half, the Washburn Ichabods fell to Northwest Missouri on Thursday, 72-70, slipping to 18-9 on the year and to sixth in the MIAA standings at 13-5.
Down 29-12 midway through the second, Washburn closed the opening on a 9-3 run to trail, 32-21 at the break.
The Ichabods extended their run early into the third, completing three of their first four possessions to trim the deficit to single-figures, 34-27. After a brief 5-0 spurt from the Bearcats (8-20, 4-15 MIAA) nudged the margin back to double-figures. Washburn though retaliated with a 14-2 run taking its first lead, 43-41, with 2:20 mark left in the period.
During the stretch, the Ichabods were 6-of-7 from the field and 2-of-3 from the behind with Taylor Blue leading the effort as dropped in seven of her team-high 20 points with Alexis McAfee and Reagan Phelan making up the balance. The advantage though was short-lived as Northwest ended the period on an 8-4 rally.
In the fourth, Shelbe Piggie tied the contest 30 seconds as she slashed to the basket for layup before Blue sank her second three of the night, pushing Washburn to a 52-51 lead. However, the margin the quickly disappeared as Northwest Missouri scratched together a 4-0 spurt, moving out front, 55-52, with 7:57 remaining.
Trailing 65-58 with 4:09 to go, the Ichabods regained the lead, 68-67, thanks in part to a quick 8-0 run. Despite converting the final bucket of the night, the rally fell short as Northwest Missouri closed on a 5-2 run.
The Washburn offense was ice cold in the first, opening the night in a 13-0 hole The Ichabods were held to 2-of-9 from the field during the first frame, though finished at .556-clip as it made 30-of-54 chances. The Bearcats however were 11-of-25 from the arc and 25-for-50 overall.
Piggie led bench scorers with 13 points. McAfee chipped in with 10, while Hunter Bentley registered 12 points and pulled down a career-best 14 rebounds for her second-career double-double.
Washburn will close the regular season slate on Saturday as it welcomes Missouri Western to Lee Arena. Tip off between the Ichabods and Griffons is slated for 1 pm. Following the contest, Washburn athletics and women’s basketball will recognize the contributions and careers of its five seniors.