By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
Missouri Western women's basketball led by double digits for a substantial amount of time at Washburn Wednesday, and yet, could never seem to quite put the game out of reach.
At the same time, Washburn never really got back in it. The Ichabods (11-11, 6-10 MIAA) trailed by as many as 17, shot only 32.8% from the field and the Griffons scored a 72-59 win over the Ichabods at Lee Arena in Topeka Wednesday.
Missouri Western (18-4, 13-3 MIAA) led for over 38 minutes, and shot 41.7% from the field. The Griffons went somewhat cold from three, hitting only 5-of-20, but were a reliable 17-of-22 at the free throw line.
Freshman Tiani Ellison was once again stellar for Western, scoring a game-high 15 points off the bench on a 7-of-10 shooting effort. She also corralled a career-high eight rebounds and logged a career-high four blocked shots.
Brionna Budgets added 14 points and four boards. Jayme Jackson contributed 11 points, making 6-of-8 at the free throw line.
Missouri Western outrebounded Washburn 41-36, and held the Ichabods to just 3-of-14 shooting from long range.
Missouri Western pushes their win streak to eight games. They've also won each of their last six meetings against Washburn.
Tiani Ellison, Candi Whitaker interview
Full audio broadcast
MWSU men get off to fast start, lose in heartbreaking fashion late
The Missouri Western men's basketball team raced out to a 10-point lead in the first half and made six of their first 10 shots from the three -point line in a battle at Washburn Wednesday.
The Griffons were unable to maintain that clip, though, as Washburn went up 52-47 with 8:22 to play. Missouri Western weathered the storm, and turned the game into a back-and-forth affair in the closing minutes.
With the game tied at 63-63 in the final 12 seconds, Washburn's Jarmell Johnson got fouled on an offensive rebound and went to the foul line for two shots with less than three seconds to go.
Johnson missed the first free throw, but made the second, leaving the Griffons with 2.7 seconds. Western's Taye Fields heaved a long pass inbounds that was picked off by Washburn's Brady Christiansen and the Ichabods (15-7, 11-5 MIAA) survived, 64-63, at Lee Arena Wednesday.
The game featured nine ties and seven lead changes, but it was Washburn, who trailed 38-30 at the break, but outscored the Griffons 34-25 in the second half.
Missouri Western (15-7, 9-7 MIAA) was held to just 9-of-26 shooting in the second half, including just 1-of-9 from long range. The Griffons also committed 15 turnovers, which led to 19 Washburn points.
Andrew Orr led the Ichabods with a game-high 25 points on 11-of-19 shooting. Taye Fields led Missouri Western with 19 points and 14 rebounds - his fourth consecutive double-double.
Zion Swader scored 10 points. JaRon Thames had 9, while Kiani Saxon and Julius Dixon each had 7.
Will Martin interview
Full audio broadcast
Both Missouri Western teams stay on the road Saturday to face Emporia State. The women's game is at 1:30, the men's at 3:30. Both games are on KFEQ Radio (680, 95.3, 680kfeq.com, KFEQ app).
The Northwest women beat Emporia Wednesday, 86-52. The 12th-ranked Bearcat men held off the Hornets, 64-61 on Wednesday as well.
You can follow Tommy on Twitter @TommyKFEQ and St. Joseph Post @StJosephPost.