By ISAAC DEER
The 11th-ranked Washburn University men's basketball team will be looking to move forward after falling to William Jewell College, 56-52, on Wednesday night in Liberty, Mo.
Washburn (1-2) is set to take the Lee Arena court at 2 p.m. Saturday against Baker University (3-4) in the Ichabods' home-opener. Washburn has won 31 home-openers in a row.
Saturday’s contest will be an exhibition game for Baker while the Ichabods are looking to even their record.
While the Ichabods, who have been without All-American guard Tyler Geiman and post player Jonny Clausing due to injuries, have lost two in a row, they have still managed to outscore their opponents on the season.
Washburn is currently shooting 39.3 percent from the field and shooting 35.3 percent from beyond the 3-point line.
The Ichabods have stolen the ball from opponents 24 times and have blocked five shots. Washburn has scored 18.3 points off of turnovers.
Washburn’s biggest strength this year has been taking advantage of free throw opportunities, with the Ichabods shooting 83 percent from the free-throw line on 31 attempts.
Leading the way for Washburn in the young 2021 season is freshman Michael Keegan, who is leading the team in points per game (12.7) and rebounds per game (4.3).
Jeremy Harrell and Jalen Lewis have been solid for Washburn so far, with Harrell averaging 12 points per game while Lewis is averaging 11.7. The duo has been automatic at the free-throw line, making a combined 10 straight attempts.
Baker has averaged 75.6 points per game.
Standout players for Baker so far have been guard Jalen Patterson, guard Xavier Elam and forward Kobe Buffalomeat.
Patterson leads the team in points at 18.3 points per game while Elam has averaged 13.3 and 6-foot-7 Buffalomeat 11.6.
Washburn leads the all-time series against the Heart of America Conference school, 56-20-1. Baker hasn’t defeated the Ichabods since 1954.
BAKER WILDCATS (3-4) vs. NO. 11 WASHBURN ICHABODS (1-2)
Location: Lee Arena.
Tipoff: 2:00 p.m. Saturday.