TOPEKA, Kan. -- Martin Mitchell scored 20 first half points en route to a career-high 32 but it was not enough as the No. 17-ranked Washburn Ichabods fell to Missouri Western 79-74. Washburn will wrap up the four-game home stand against Northwest Missouri on Saturday at 7 p.m. on Schendel Court at Lee Arena.
Both team shot above 50 percent in the first half as the Ichabods (14-5, 7-4 MIAA) were 13 of 26 from the field hitting 6 of 13 3-point attempts while the Griffons (9-12, 5-8 MIAA) were 13 of 24 going 4 of 9 from 3-point range hitting 54 percent of their shots as the Ichabods took a 40-36 lead into the halftime break. Washburn trailed by as many as nine in the first half at 16-9, but used a 10-0 over a 60 second stretch to take a three-point lead. Jared Henry scored five points during the stretch. Again the Griffons pushed out to a nine-point lead at 32-23 before MItchell would hit four straight 3-pointers on consecutive trips down the court to put Washburn up 35-32 as they would hold for the four-point lead at the break.
Out of the break, the Ichabods would score four straight by Joseph Smith to build a six-point lead and Washburn stretched its lead out to as may as nine points with 11:28 to play before a 9-2 Griffon run cut the lead to two with 8:22 to play.
Washburn led by three at 67-64 with 4:15 to play but Western finished the game on a 15-7 run to end the game snapping Washburn's four-game winning streak over the Griffons.
Mitchell's 32 points were the most by an Ichabod since Will McNeill scored 34 against Bellevue earlier this season. He became the first Ichabod to hit seven 3-pointers in a game since Eric Carter hit seven against Lincoln on Dec. 18, 1999. McNeill finished with 16 points and a game-high 10 rebounds recording his seventh career double double and his fourth of the season. Joseph Smith had 11 points marking his first start of the season. Kyle Wiggins and McNeill each had six assists as well.
Reed Mells led six Griffons in double figures with 18 points. It was the first time a team had recorded six double figure scorers against the Ichabods since Northwest Missouri did on March 7, 2004.
The Griffons finished with a 58 percent shooting mark hitting for 62 percent in the second half connecting on 26 of 45 attempts including a 10 of 20 performance from behind the 3-point line.
Washburn shot 46 percent for the game going 25 of 55 from the field but cooled off in the second half hitting only 2 of 11 3-point attempts. Washburn held a 32 to 25 advantage on the glass collecting 15 offensive rebounds leading to 18 second chance points.