TOPEKA, Kan. -- The No. 2-ranked Washburn Ichabods opened MIAA play with a 91-70 win over Southwest Baptist in Lee Arena improving to 7-0 on the season. The Ichabods will step out of conference play to take on Newman on Dec. 15 in Wichita.
The Ichabods never trailed against the Bearcats (2-6, 0-1 MIAA) as Washburn took a 40-34 lead into the break despite being outshot by Southwest Baptist 48 percent to 41 percent. Southwest Baptist was 14 of 29 from the field including 6 of 14 from 3-point range but they had 10 first half turnovers leading to 15 Ichabod points. SBU also did not attempt a free throw in the frame and the Ichabods were 7 of 10 from the charity stripe.
In the second half, the Bearcats cut the Ichabod lead to 40-38 out of the break and Washburn built the lead back to eight and again SBU trimmed the Washburn lead back to four with 15:04 to play on a 3-pointer. The Ichabods stretched the lead back to nine at 52-43 with 14:02 left to play on a pair of Bobby Chipman free throws but once again the Bearcats fought back getting within five at 54-49 with 11:32 to play.
Then a Chipman tip would start off a 20-4 run by the Ichabods over the next 4:01 in the game turning a five-point margin into a 74-53 lead with 7:31 to go in the game and SBU did not get closer than 17 the rest of the game as Washburn led by as many as 25 at 88-63 with 2:13 to play before taking the 91-70 win.
Will McNeill led the Ichabods with 29 points adding a career-high 14 rebounds with seven of them coming on the offensive end. He also added four steals and two assists going 11 of 12 from the free throw line in the win. McNeill also went over the 1,300-point mark in his career at Washburn. Chipman scored 16 adding six rebounds and Martin Mitchell had 14 points tying his career-high with seven assists. Jared Henry scored 10 off the bench.
SBU was led by Preson Guiot who scored 13 with eight assists and one turnover.
Washburn held a 44 to 27 advantage on the glass with 20 offensive rebounds leading to 24 second chance points. Washburn also forced 18 SBU turnovers giving the Ichabods 27 points of Bearcat miscues.