HAYS, Kan. -- The Washburn Ichabods survived a five-point swing late in the game and a last-second shot as they held off Fort Hays State 70-69 to improved to 9-2 and 2-1 in the MIAA.
With the Ichabods down 69-68 with 19 seconds left, Will McNeill went to the line and hit a pair of free throws putting Washburn up 70-69. After a Washburn timeout, the Tigers (9-4, 3-2 MIAA) were unable to get a shot off from inside 25 feet as the Ichabods held on for the win.
The Ichabods opened the second half 2 of 8 from the field as the Tigers would go up 53-48 with under 10 minutes left in the game. After a pair of free throws and a fastbreak lay up by Will McNeill, Washburn cut the lead to two at 53-51 with 8:22 remaining in the game forcing a Tiger timeout.
McNeill would hit his first three of the season to go up three but the Tigers returned serve with one of their own with 6:53 left at 56 leading to a Fort Hays State timeout.
After five straight points by McNeill and a putback by Bobby Chipman the Ichabods would go up 65-64 following a Fort Hays State basket. McNeill would go to the line to shoot a pair of free throws with 3:48 remaining and hit one putting WU up by two. With the Ichabods leading by two, Washburn missed a break away dunk and at the other end the Tigers hit a 3-pointer with 1:12 to play going back in front 69-68 leading to a Tigers' timeout.
The Ichabods came up empty on their next possession with a charging call with under a minute to play returning the ball to the Tigers. The Ichabods Flowers picked up a steal and McNeill was fouled going to the basket going to the line with 19 seconds left down 69-68 and hit them both to put Washburn back up 70-69.
The lchabods led at the break 35-34 after trailing by as many as seven in the first half behind Mitchell's 14 points. Mitchell was 4 of 5 from 3-point range going 5 of 6 from the field overall. Flowers also hit two 3-pointers in the first half. Washburn was 12 of 27 from the field and 6 of 11 from 3-point range overall. The Ichabods were outscored from the free throw line by nine as the Tigers were 14 of 17 compared to 5 of 10 for Washburn as the teams were whistled for a combined 25 fouls with 13 going to FHSU.
Mitchell led the Ichabods with 19 points on 5 of 7 shooting from 3-point range and 7 of 11 overall. He added four assists and four rebounds. McNeill finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds for his fourth double double of his career adding five assists and two steals. Chipman had 11 points and nine rebounds.
Dwayne Brunson led the Tigers with 21 points and 10 rebounds pacing three others in double figures with Craig Nicholson with 16, Lance Russell with 15 and Ben Congiusta with 12.
Washburn finished 22 of 50 from the field and 9 of 18 from 3-point range while outrebounding the Tigers 37 to 28 including 14 offensive rebounds leading to 15 second chance points. The Tigers were 22 of 51 from the field and went 21 of 25 from the free throw line. Washburn was 17 of 29 from the free throw line.
The teams combined for 54 free throw attempts and 47 fouls.