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Oklahoma Baptist holds off WU 69-63 despite Lewis' game-high 30 points

Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer

By RICK PETERSON
TopSports.news

Oklahoma Baptist survived a big night from Washburn University junior guard Jalen Lewis and a late Ichabod comeback to take a 69-63 non-conference win Tuesday at Lee Arena.

But Lewis, who scored a career-high 30 points, is convinced that better days are just around the corner for the short-handed Ichabods, who fell to 2-3 on the season.

"We've just got to make sacrifices, come in every single day and work our hardest and that's all we're focused on,'' Lewis said. "We know everything else is going to come if we just come in every day and compete in practice like we've been doing.

"We're doing the right things. We've just got to amp it up a little bit and just stay the course.''

JalenLewisOBU 2Washburn junior guard Jalen Lewis scored a career-high 30 points in the Ichabods' 69-63 loss to Oklahoma Baptist Tuesday night. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

Lewis hit 13 of 20 shots overall and went 4 of 8 from 3-point range, but Washburn struggled through a tough shooting night as a team as Oklahoma Baptist opened up double-digit leads in both halves and survived numerous Ichabod rallies to hang on for the win.

Washburn shot 39.4 percent on the night (26 of 66) and was just 8 of 36 from 3-point range (22.2 percent) while Oklahoma Baptist countered with 52.1 percent shooting from the field (25 of 48) and went 6 of 12 from 3-point range (50 percent) while also canning 13 of 15 free throw attempts to help hold the Ichabods at bay.

The Ichabods cut a 12-point deficit with 5:24 left in the first half to five at halftime (35-30) and after the Bison built their lead back to 11, Washburn battled back to within 4 points on multiple occasions but could never get over the hump.

Washburn continues to play without All-America guard Tyler Geiman, standout frontlner Jonny Clausing and guard Tyler Nelson, but Washburn coach Brett Ballard said the Ichabods are making strides.

"I thought our effort was good and I thouught our compete was really good,'' Ballard said. "I don't think we're that far off from being a really, really good team.

"But like I told them, you don't come to Washburn for moral victories so I don't think we're that far off but we've still got to take some steps obviously.''

Freshman Michael Keegan joined Lewis in double figures for Washburn with 10 points, while Jeremy Harrell added eight points, including a couple of big 3-pointers in the second half.

Blake Putnam led Oklahoma Baptist with 22 points and nine rebounds while Jaquan Simms added 17 points and hit five of nine 3-point attempts. 

Washburn will be back at Lee Arena Saturday to host Benedictine in a 5 p.m. non-conference contest.

OKLAHOMA BAPTIST MEN 69, WASHBURN MEN 63 

Oklahoma Baptist 35 34 -- 69 

Washburn 30 33 -- 63 

OKLAHOMA BAPTIST (3-1) 

Wilcox 3-3 1-2 7, Tene 5-7 0-0 10, Simms 5-12 2-2 17, Putnam 7-17 8-8 22, Thompson 3-7 0-0 7, Freeman 2-2 2-3 6, Green 0-0 0-0 0, Pruitt 0-0 0-0 0, Knight 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-48 13-15 69. 

WASHBURN (2-3) 

Carter 0-3 0-0 0, Monday 3-11 0-0 6, Deffebaugh 2-5 0-0 4, Lewis 13-20 0-0 30, Keegan 3-7 2-2 10, Ross 0-4 0-0 0, Orr 1-1 0-0 2, Braun 0-5 0-0 0, Harrell 3-7 0-0 8, Ellis 1-3 1-2  3. Totals 26-66 3-4 63. 

3-point goals -- Oklahoma Baptist 6-12 (Simms 5-9, Thompson 1-1, Tene 0-1, Putnam 0-1), Washburn 8-36 (Lewis 4-8, Keegan 2-5, Harrell 2-5, Monday 0-6, Braun 0-5, Ross 0-3, Deffebaugh 0-2, Carter 0-2), Rebounds -- Oklahoma Baptist 37 (Putnam 9), Washburn 25 (Monday 6). Assists -- Oklahoma Baptist 14 (Thompson 8), Washburn 9 (Monday 4). Turnovers -- Oklahoma State 19, Washburn 9. Total fouls -- Oklahoma State 12, Washburn 16. Fouled out -- none.