A huge third quarter helped the Washburn women’s basketball team to an 80-70 home opening victory in Lee Arena against the Central Oklahoma Bronchos on Thursday evening. Four Ichabods finished in double-figure scoring while Hunter Bentley and Nuria Barrientos both recorded double-doubles in the winning effort. Washburn picks up its first win and is now 1-2 on the young season and hands Central Oklahoma its first loss to make them 2-1.
The Bronchos jumped out to a quick 8-2 lead in the first two minutes of the game before Washburn put together an 11-2 scoring run to take a 13-10 lead at the 4:30 mark. Back-to-back three-pointers during that run by Aubree Dewey and Bentley helped spark that run. Central Oklahoma fought back and made a layup in the final seconds of the quarter to knot up the score at 20-all.
It was back-and-forth scoring to start the second stanza with tied scores at 22 and 24 before UCO rattled of six-straight points to retake the lead, 32-24, with 4:45 on the clock. The Bronchos led by as many as 11 at 37-26 before the Ichabods scored the final seven points of the opening half to cut the deficit to 37-33.
Central Oklahoma scored the first bucket of the second half, but the Ichabods scored the next seven to go back in front, 40-39. After three lead changes over the next two minutes, 23 seconds, Lauren Cassaday made a layup to get Washburn within two, 49-47, and sparked a 14-0 scoring barrage by the Ichabods to finish out the third quarter up, 59-49. Hannah Willey buried a three-pointer to give Washburn the lead back and Bentley contributed seven of those 14 points.
UCO went ice cold in the third, shooting just 28.57 percent (4-of-14) from the field while WU shot 56.25 percent (9-of-16) with four triples. The Ichabods outscored the Bronchos, 26-12, in the period.
Washburn led for the remainder of the game and held its biggest lead at 16 points after a three-pointer by Shay Tanking made it 74-58 with 3:29 remaining in regulation. The Ichabods shot 60 percent (6-of-10) in the final quarter and was 3-of-7 (42.9 percent) from deep.
Both teams finished the night shooting 46.4 percent (26-of-56) from the field while the Ichabods were 40.7 percent (11-of-27) from beyond the arc to the Bronchos’ 32 percent (8-of-25) from deep. Washburn won the battle on the boards, 39-29, and poked away 10 steals. At the free throw line, Washburn was 17-of-24 (70.8 percent) and Central Oklahoma converted on 10 of its 16 attempts.
Barrientos led the Ichabods with 20 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to go with two assists, two steals, and one block. Bentley’s double-double total was 19 points and a career-high 15 boards while also contributing four assists, two blocks, and two steals. Willey knocked down a career-best 12 points after going 4-for-6 from three-point land. Aubree Dewey rounded out the double-figure scorers with 11 points and handed out a team-high five assists.
Washburn’s home opening winning streak goes up to 21 as the team has won every home opener since Coach Ron McHenry took over the program in the 2000-01 season.
The Bronchos’ Kelsey Johnson led all scorers with 31 points, making 12-of-17 from the field.
Washburn will play its third game in five days on Saturday, Dec. 5 against Newman. Tip-off in Lee Arena is set for 1 p.m.