SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- The No. 2-ranked Washburn Ichabods trailed for the first time this season but rebounded to pick up a 67-63 win over St. Mary's at the Rattler's Thanksgiving Classic. Washburn will face Minnesota Duluth on Saturday night.
The Ichabods fell behind 5-0 out of the gates to trail for the first time this season, but a 3-pointer by Martin Mitchell after a pair of free throws by Bobby Chipman tied the score back at 5-5. The Ichabods would go on to lead by seven in the first half at 24-17 after a tip-in by Christian Ulsaker, but the Rattler's would cut the lead back to one right before the half at 29-28 before taking a 30-28 lead into the break.
Washburn was held to 31 percent shooting in the first half after going 9 of 29 from the field but shot 15 free throws compared to just two for the host-squad Rattlers hitting 11 attempts.
Washburn would go back up nine in the second half at 39-30 after a lay up by Will McNeill with 17:25 to play in the game however the Rattlers regain the lead at 49-48 with 9:02 remaining. The teams traded baskets with the Rattlers taking their final lead at 53-52 with 7:35 to play in the game.
Mitchell tied the score at 53 with 6:50 to go with a free throw and the Ichabods would go up two before stretching their lead to as many as four. After a jumper by St. Mary's Kevin Kotzur put the Rattler's back up one at 60-59 with 3:57 to play.
Joseph Smith, seeing his first action from an ankle injury, hit the tying free throw and put Washburn back up for good at 61-60 with a second free throw.
Will McNeill had a layup with 2:37 to play putting Washburn back up 63-60 and the Rattlers would get no closer than two the rest of the way as McNeill hit two free throws with 19 seconds left to seal the win.
McNeill led the Ichabods with a season-high 27 points adding six rebounds, five steals and two assists on 10 of 21 shooting and 7 of 8 from the line. Mitchell finished with 14 points and Chipman had 10 points.
Daryell Taylor had 20 points and Kevin Kotzur had 16 points and 12 rebounds to lead St. Mary's.
Washburn finished 22 of 56 from the field while St. Mary's warmed up in the second half hitting 14 of 24 from the field to finish 25 of 51 overall for a 49 percent clip.