NSU can't hold fourth quarter lead, falls to Washburn

Byron Beers | Daily Press

NSU guard Shae Sacnez gets bumped by a Washburn defender on her way to the basket Thursday at the NSU Event Center.

Northeastern State battled back from a 14-point first half deficit, but couldn't finish the job on Thursday night in a 62-55 setback to Washburn at the NSU Event Center.

Cenia Hayes led the RiverHawks with 14 points, all of which came in the second half. Zaria Collins and Shae Sanchez both scored 12 points.

The Ichabods came out of the gate scorching hot, as they started the game going 7-7 from the field. The RiverHawks didn't score their first basket until the 6:13 mark of the first quarter when Tree Brooks hit a jumper. Maddie Morrow would take a pass from Britney Ho and hit a jumper with 4:45 to go in the quarter, sparking a 6-0 run that got NSU back to within eight points. Reagan Phelan would then hit a three to kick off a 7-2 Ichabods run that would span the rest of the quarter.

In the second quarter, the Riverhawks were the team on fire, as Cielo McClain hit a jumper just 10 seconds in to set up a 16-4 NSU run that brought them to within one point. Shae Sanchez and Zaria Collins both scored six during the stretch. After Washburn hit a bucket, Collins took a pass from Ho and hit a jumper to make it 29-28. The Ichabods would hit a jumper a short time later to take a three-point advantage into the locker room.

The RiverHawks kept the game close throughout the third quarter, and tied things at the 4:48 mark when Shae Sanchez hit a layup. They would take the lead a short time later when Maegan Lee hit a free throw, after which Cenia Hayes drilled a three to give the RiverHawks a four-point lead. The Ichabods would hit a layup to tie the game, but Hayes would step to the line and drill a pair of free throws. Washburn made the last shot of the half to tie the game heading into the fourth.

The RiverHawks took the lead coming out of the break, as Hayes took a pass from Lee and drilled a three to give NSU a three-point lead. After Washburn hit a jumper, Shae Sanchez hit one on the other end to restore NSU's three-point advantage. The lead got to five with 7:31 left when Hayes hit a jumper off a pass from Sanchez, but Washburn would fight back, hitting a three then a jumper within a minute to tie the game.

The Ichabods took the lead with 6:02 left and never relinquished it, going on a 11-0 run. The streak ended when Lee hit a pair of free throws with 3:11 remaining. NSU cut the lead to two when Sanchez hit a layup with 2:39 left, but Washburn hit a jumper at the other end to make it a two-possession game. Hayes brought the Washburn lead back to two, but the Ichabods hit a pair of free throws to put the game out of reach.

The loss is the fifth straight and brings NSU to a record of 5-17, with a MIAA record of 3-12. The Ichabods improve to 14-9, with an 8-6 conference record.

NSU will be back in the Event Center on Saturday when they host the Emporia State Lady Hornets at 1:30 p.m.

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