Icy shooting, slow start dooms Washburn in loss to No. 21 UCM

WU Athletics
Gene Cassel, Sports Information Director

WARRENSBURG, Mo. – It was a tough a day at the office for Washburn women’s basketball, as it fell to 14-7 on the year and into a three-way tie for second in the MIAA standings at 9-3, following an 80-55 loss Wednesday to No. 21 Central Missouri.

The Ichabods were blitzed early trailing by as much as 12 midway through the opening period as it struggled to find the bottom the net. Trailing 23-11 at the end of the first, the Washburn shooting woes worsened as it was outscored 19-8 in the second as it netted just 4-of-14 attempts.

Washburn converted on 9-of-31 from the field and just 1-of-9 from three-point range in the first half, while the Jennies (16-4, 9-3 MIAA) were an efficient 15-of-31 with 6-of-18 from behind the arc.

Trailing 52-23 in the third, the Ichabods began to fight back, cutting the deficit to 20 as they closed the period on a 13-4 run. Washburn converted on 6-of-11 attempts during the rally which lasted just over four and half minutes. The run was powered by Shelbe Piggie tallying five of her team-high 11 points. Makayla Vargo chipped four points while Kaylee Stevens and Hunter Bentley split the balance.

Despite an improvement in shooting efficiency in the third and fourth, the Washburn effort however was not enough as the Jennies continued to push the pace, extending their advantage by as much 30 inside the final five minutes.

Washburn was 16-of-34 shooting in the second half, finishing 25-of-65. The Ichabods were held without a free throw until the 4:59-mark of the fourth as they were limited to a season-low 2-of-3 shooting from the line. The Jennies meanwhile were 30-of-64 from the field and 10-of-30 from the outside and 10-of-13 from the stripe.

There was a bittersweet moment in the fourth as Reagan Phelan as she became the 23rd player in Washburn program history to register 1,000-career points and the first since Laura Kinderknecht accomplished the feat during the 2012-13 campaign. Phelan, who came into the contest four shy, cut it to one in the first with the three-pointer before a routine driving layup pushed her the rest of the way. Phelan is now the ninth player to reach the 1,000-point mark under head coach Ron McHenry.

The Ichabods will return to road action on Saturday as they make their final conference trip to Bolivar, Mo., to facing Southwest Baptist before it leaves the MIAA. Tip-off is set for 1:30 pm.

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