EDMOND, Okla. -- The No. 8 Washburn made a furious comeback in the second half to put itself in a position to win but came up short in a 72-67 loss at Central Oklahoma. Washburn returns to action at Fort Hays State on Thursday.
After trailing by as many as 22 in the first half, the Ichabods used a 30-15 from the 17-minute mark of the game down to the 7:20 mark turning a 43-26 deficit into a three-point deficit at 58-55 after a Kyle Wiggins' layup.
Wiggins would score on another lay up cutting the to 61-58 on a traditional three-point play with 6:04 left. UCO responded putting the lead back to seven twice before a Martin Mitchell lay up cut the lead back to five at 67-62 with 3:20 to play. Mitchell hit another jumper to to cut the margin back to four at 68-64 with 2:07 left and after a UCO pair of free throws with 1:46 to play Will McNeill hit a pair of his own cutting it back to a four-point deficit but they would get no closer as UCO held on for the win. The Ichabods outscored the Bronchos 45 to 30 in the second half after being outscored 42 to 22 in the opening half.
In the first half, the Ichabods trailed by 20 at 42-22 as the Ichabods were 5 of 25 from the field including a 1 of 10 performance from behind the arch.Washburn was limited to three field goals in the final nine-plus minutes of the first half. UCO led by as many as 22 in the opening half as the Bronchos were 16 of 26 from the field including 4 of 9 from 3-point range. UCO also held a 19 to 14 advantage on the glass forcing seven Ichabod turnovers leading to 12 UCO points. Washburn was 11 of 15 from the free throw line compared to 6 of 12 for UCO.
Mitchell scored 21 coming off a 23-point performance against Emporia State last time out. Wiggins scored a career-high 17 in the game and McNeill finished with 14 going 12 of 14 from the free throw line. Washburn was outrebounded 45-35 in the game and outscored 30 to 10 in the paint by UCO.
Josh Gibbs led UCO with 16 points adding 10 rebounds.
Washburn finished 17 of 60 from the field for the game including 6 of 26 from 3-point range while going 27 of 36 from the free throw line. UCO finished 23 of 50 from the field and 20 of 36 from the free throw line.