ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — For the first time since the 2014-15 campaign, Washburn women’s basketball have put together a seven game win streak after rolling past Missouri Western, 65-54, on Wednesday as it improved to 9-4 on the year and 4-0 MIAA action. Following their record performances four nights earlier, Taylor Blue and Hunter Bentley again paced the Ichabod offense as Blue netted a game-high 19 while Bentley tallied 17, both had eight rebounds.
A late three-pointer from the corner by Nicole Murugarren gave Washburn a narrow 14-12 lead. Despite the advantage, the Ichabod shooting was cold during the opening frame as they converted on 4-of-14 from field with 2-for-8 shooting for the outside.
The Washburn offense heated up in the second as it knocked down 10-of-16 chances including 2-of-4 from three-point land. With 4-of-6 shooting, Blue led the second period surge, while Reagan Phelan was 2-for-3 with a pair a three-pointers.
The Ichabod surge began with 8:58 left on the clock as Alexis McAfee sparked an 8-0 run by Washburn that carried till the 6:47 mark, pushing the score to 22-14.
MWSU’s Brittany Atkins provided a brief reprieve as she tallied two of her team-high 16 points, but the Washburn run continued with back-to-back jumpers from Blue and Bentley, extending the margin to double-figures. The Washburn run was eventually stretched to 19-2 with help from Reagan Phelan who drained a three-pointer with 4:00 left in the period, giving Washburn its largest lead of the contest at 33-16, before taking a 37-23 advantage into the break.
Along with an impressive effort offensively, the Washburn defense was equally as resolute, holding the Griffons to 5-for-15 shooting the period with zero three-pointers.
Missouri Western kicked off the third by chopping into the Ichabod margin with a 10-5 run during the five minutes as Washburn shot 2-for-6. The Griffons eventually cut the advantage to single-digits as they converted on a chance from the charity stripe at 4:25, making it 44-35.
Washburn however pushed the margin back to double-figures with a 6-0 spurt.
Leading 57-44 in the fourth, Washburn regained a 17-point advantage on thanks a 6-2 run beginning with a pair from Phelan from the line and capped by a fast break layup by Alexis McAfee. MWSU then scored eight unanswered in a under 90 seconds to again pull the margin to nine and it trailed 64-54, but were held off by an unrelenting Washburn defense that held the Griffons scoreless during the final 3:29 of the contest.
The Ichabods shot 22-for-54, good for .407, from the field and went 6-for-17 from three-point range. Washburn also made a living at the charity stripe as it converted 15-of-20. The Griffons held advantages in rebounding, 40-38, and paint points, 30-24, while making 20-of-60 and jsut 1-of-8 from deep.
Washburn will concluded its three-game road trip on Saturday when travels to Maryville to take on Northwest Missouri. Tip-off is slated for 1:30 pm.