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Freshmen come up big for WU men in 70-63 win over William Jewell

Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer

By RICK PETERSON
TopSports.news

The Washburn University men's basketball team won its 32nd straight home opener in a row Wednesday night in Lee Arena, taking a 70-63 decision over William Jewell.

The Ichabods rallied from an early 10-point deficit to improve to 2-1, getting a big lift off the bench from freshmen Jarmell Johnson and Brady Christiansen.

JarmellJohnson2Washburn freshman Jarmell Johnson (right) is congratulated by teammate Connor Deffebaugh after hitting a big shot in Wednesday's 70-63 home win over William Jewell. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

BradyChristiansen1Washburn freshman Brady Christiansen (1) pulls down one of his 19 rebounds in Wednesday's 70-63 win over William Jewell at Lee Arena. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

Johnson, a 6-foot-6 guard out of Denver, Colo., scored a team-high 14 points for the Ichabods while Christiansen, a 6-7 forward out of Lincoln, Neb., had nine points and grabbed 19 rebounds.

"I saw Brady's motor in high school and his size and a college-ready body, so I was excited about what we was going to be able to do, even as a freshman,'' Washburn coach Brett Ballard said. "But obviously I had no inclination that he'd get 19 rebounds in a big game against a good team. That was amazing.

"Jarmell's been a pleasant surprise. A month and a half ago we were thinking about maybe redshirting the kid. That shows you how much I know about anything. He's aggressive, he's not afraid of the moment and he's been a nice spark for us.''

Johnson scored 11 of his 14 points in the second half as the Ichabods led throughout the half.

"I feel like my teammates trust me, coach trusts me and coach's standard never changes,'' Johnson said. "He always expects us to play how he wants to play no matter if you're a starter, coming off the bench, five minutes, two minutes. Whenever I get on the floor I just give it all I've got.''

Christiansen's 19 boards, including 11 on the offensive end, were the most by a WU player since Brady Skeens grabbed 22 boards on two occasions in 2017.

"I just worry about what the team needs and I just bring my toughness and my energy and I know it's going to pay off and help the team win,'' Christiansen said. "All the hard work you put in over the offseason is paying off and you've just go keep coming in and working and see where things go from there.''

The Ichabods started cold from the field hitting only two of their first 13 shots over the first eight minutes of the contest, falling behind 14-4 as William Jewell (1-2) was 6 of 10, including a pair of 3-pointers.

A Johnson 3-pointer jump-started the Ichabod offense, igniting a 13-2 run over the next 4:41 as Washburn took a 17-16 advantage.

Neither team led by more than four until a 10-4 run by the Ichabods, capped by a 3-pointer by Connor Deffebaugh, put the Ichabods up 32-27 at halftime.

Washburn used a 7-0 run at the start of the second half to build a 39-29 advantage, but William Jewell cut its deficit to three at 41-38 with 14:54 to go and would get within four at 56-52 with 6:24 to play.

But Washburn held off the Cardinals the rest of the way, going eight of 11 from the free throw line.
 
Sophomore Andrew Orr scored 13 points, Deffebaugh 11 and Michael Keegan 10 to five the Ichabods three players in double figures.

Washburn finished 25 of 72 from the field and 15 of 18 from the free throw line.

William Jewell was 21 of 51 overall and 16 of 27 from the free throw line.

Washburn out-rebounded the Cardinals 50 to 33 and 21 to 7 on the offensive glass, turning the 21 offensive rebounds into 16 second-chance points.

Washburn's bench also held a 29 to 10 advantage in scoring.

The Ichabods will travel to Kansas City, Mo. to face Rockhurst on Friday night.

WASHBURN MEN 70, WILLIAM JEWELL 63 

William Jewell 27 36 -- 63 

Washburn        32 38 -- 70 

WILLIAM JEWELL (1-2)

Tshiyoyo 6-8 7-10 19, Shannon 1-5 0-0 3, Alexander 2-10 2-4 7, McKinley 4-9 2-3 10, Jermain 5-9 3-4 14, Stubbs 3-7 1-4 9, Patterson 0-1 0-0 0, Wingert 0-1 1-2 1, Hanson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-51 16-27 63. 

WASHBURN (2-1) 

Orr 6-8 1-2 13, Deffebaugh 3-12 4-4 11, Monday 1-8 3-3 5, Braun 0-1 2-2 2, Keegan 4-10 0-0 10, Christiansen 3-9 3-3 9, Dajani 0-4 0-0 0, Johnson 6-17 0-2 14, Vincent 2-3 2-2 6. Totals 25-72 15-18 70. 

3-point goals -- William Jewell 5-20 (Stubbs 2-3, Shannon 1-3, Alexander 1-6, Jermain 1-4, McKinley 0-2, Patterson 0-1, Hanson 0-1), Washburn 5-20 (Johnson 2-5, Keegan 2-5, Deffebaugh 1-4, Monday 0-3, Christiansen 0-2, Dajani 0-1), Rebounds -- William Jewell 33 (Tshiyoyo 11), Washburn 50 (Christiansen 19). Assists -- William Jewll 9 (Alexander 6), Washburn 14 (Deffebaugh 6). Turnovers -- William Jewell 12, Washburn 9. Total fouls -- William Jewell 20, Washburn 18. Fouled out -- Alexander. Technical fouls -- none.