Washburn picked up its third consecutive Thursday, improving to 14-5 and 9-1 in the conference, thanks to a 79-73 victory over Lincoln. The decision also marks Washburn’s 28th consecutive victory against the Blue Tigers (9-10, 1-9 MIAA).
Trailing by as much as seven early into the second Washburn put together a 7-0 run, tying the game at 20. Shelbe Piggie’s five points shouldered the rally with Hunter Bentley adding a jumper to level the score. Possession then see-sawed before Taylor Blue sparked a 6-0 run, pushing Washburn to a 31-27 advantage. Piggie again shouldered the loaded with four points, as she finished the half with 14.
From there, the Ichabods dominated the final 2:09 of the half as they converted on 4-of-6 from the field. Blue led the way, netting six of her 11 first half points, while Annette Warner added a pair helping Washburn close the frame on an 8-1 run as it took a 41-30 lead into the break.
In the opening two period, Washburn was 17-of-34 from the field with 5-of-15 shooting from behind the arc, while the defense held Lincoln to 12-of-31 shooting as it completed just 2-for-7 from three-point distance.
Washburn came out swinging the in the third, stretching its margin to a game-best 17, behind back-to-back threes from Hunter Bentley and Reagan Phelan to open the third. Lincoln responded with eight unanswered points as it closed the margin to 47-38 with 7:04 play.
With 6:22 to play, Phelan knocked down another triple en route to finishing the period with eight points.
Lincoln continued battled during the final three-plus minutes of the period, cutting the Ichabod margin to five, as it pieced together a 9-2 run. During the stretch the Blue Tigers were 4-for-4 from the field with a three-pointer, pushing the score to 57-52.
Leading 61-52 to start the fourth, the Ichabods stumbled out of the blocks as Lincoln further sliced into the margin with a 10-4 run. The Blue Tigers, who like Washburn were struggling from the field, were however able to capitalize from free throw line, going 6-for-6 during the opening 4:48 of the period.
With 2:25 remaining, Lincoln pulled within one, 67-66, as it again converted both attempts from the line. Phelan however wasted little in put together a Washburn response as she drilled back-to-back threes in a short span of 68 seconds, opening the margin to 73-66. The Blue Tigers closed the night with a 7-6 exchange, but it was Washburn’s 6-for-8 shooting from the charity stripe during the final 35 seconds that was the difference late.
Washburn ended the contest converting on 29-of-58 attempts and registered a season-high 11 three-pointers. Phelan paced the offense with a team-high 20 points including 18 in the second half. Blue and Piggie each finished with 17 while McAfee chipped in 11 and pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds for her third career double-double.
Warner added nine points to the cause, but its was her defensive presence that was the real difference maker as she registered a career-best five blocks. Piggie and McAfee played notable defensive roles as well as they accounted for five of Washburn’s seven total steals.
The Ichabods out rebounded LU, 36-33, and paced the Blue Tigers in transition points, 12-4, while Washburn lost the turnover battle, 15-11, which in turn allowed Lincoln to dominate turnover points, 22-8.
Washburn is back in action at Lee Arena on Saturday for its annual pink game when it hosts Lindenwood. Tip-off is slated for 1 pm. The first 750 fans in attendance will receive free pink t-shirts