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Slow Start Dooms Ichabods in Conference Opener

The Washburn women’s basketball team couldn’t overcome a slow first quarter and fell to Pittsburg State, 84-63, in the conference opener Thursday evening. The Ichabods drop to 3-4 (0-1 MIAA) while the Gorillas move to 4-3 (2-0 MIAA). Washburn continues its road swing as it travels to Missouri Southern on Saturday, Dec. 7. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. in Joplin, Mo.

Pittsburg State controlled the game early as it jumped out to a 25-7 start in the first quarter. The Ichabods were just 3-of-14 (21.4 percent) from the field in the first 10 minutes while the Gorillas were 9-of-15 (60 percent) from the floor and 4-of-5 from three-point range.

The Ichabods answered in the second quarter by outscoring the Gorillas, 20-17, with a 53.3 shooting percentage. Reagan Phelan converted on an old-fashioned three point play to start a 7-0 scoring run to get the Ichabods within eight at 33-25 with 3:08 left in the first half. The Gorillas drained a three-pointer at the buzzer to take a 42-27 advantage into the break.

Trailing 50-34 midway through the third quarter, Phelan sparked another scoring run for Washburn, this time a 9-2 burst to pull within nine at 52-43 after a triple by Hunter Bentley. Pittsburg State reclaimed their double-figure lead after finishing out the quarter on seven unanswered points to go in front 59-43.

The Ichabods scored 20 fourth quarter points and were 9-of-19 from the floor, but it wasn’t enough as the Gorillas kept up and were 9-of-15 from the field and made all three attempts from behind the arc on their way to winning, 84-63.

Phelan finished with a points/assists double-double as she was the Ichabods’ top-scorer with 15 points and handed out 10 assists. Shelbe Piggie added a dozen points and Alexis McAfee chipped in 11. Hunter Bentley pulled down a team-best seven rebounds to go with six points and two steals. Abby Oliver scored nine points and grabbed four boards in her first collegiate start.

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