Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer


The Washburn University women's basketball team, fresh off of a double-digit victory over Lincoln, will play two road games this week, including a 5:30 p.m. MIAA contest at Missouri Southern Thursday night.

The Ichabods moved back above .500 on the season with last Saturday's 73-59 win over Lincoln, improving to 7-6 overall and 3-4 in the MIAA.

AubreeDeweyCMUWashburn junior point guard Aubree Dewey leads the 7-6 Ichabods in scoring, assists and minutes played entering Thursday's game at Missouri Southern. [File photo/TSN]

LoraWestling1Lora Westling's Washburn women's basketball team is 7-6 on the season after last Saturday's double-figure MIAA win over Lincoln. [File photo/TSN]

Washburn floor leader Aubree Dewey said there's no doubt the Ichabods have showed significant improvement since the start of the season.

"We talked a lot this week about our performances during preseason and just what a completely different basketball team we are now than when we started,'' Dewey said.

"We've been putting a lot of stuff together and just executing a lot better recently and I can see that getting even better in the future.''

WU first-year head coach Lora Westling has also seen that improvent out of her young team.

"Our quality of practice is better, our attention to detail is better, our shoot-arounds are better and when everything leading up to games is better then you're games are going to be better,'' Westling said. "It just works out that way.'' 

Washburn will be facing a Missouri Southern team that is 12-4 overall and 4-4 in the conference.

The Lions won their first 11 games of the season, but have now lost three of their last four, with two of those losses being by three or fewer points.

The Ichabods and Lions played each other three times last season, with MSSU winning all three matchups. Washburn's final game of the 2021-22 season was against Missouri Southern in the MIAA Tournament quarterfinal, with the Lions taking a 62-54 decision.

Last season, Missouri Southern (24-7, 19-3 MIAA) was crowned the MIAA regular season co-champion and was picked as the favorite in the 2022-23 MIAA coaches preseason poll, while Washburn was picked 10th.

Washburn is averaging 56.9 points per game and shoots 38.8 percent from the field. The Ichabods are second in the league and 17th in the nation in fewest points allowed per game, holding opponents to 55.6 points per game.

The Ichabod freshman trio of Natalia Figueroa, Gabi Artis and Yibara Nwidadah combined for 44 points in the Lincoln win, with Artis and Figueroa scoring a career-high 16 points and Nwidadah adding a career-high 12 points.

Figueroa was four of seven from 3-point range and hit all four of her treys in the second quarter while Artis hit six of 10 shots from the field and also tied a career-high in rebounds (seven) and steals (two) while dishing out a career-best five assists. Nwidadah was also six of 10 from the floor and scored her 12 points in just 15 minutes.

Junior point guard Impro inDewey leads the Ichabods in scoring, assists and minutes played this season.

Dewey is scoring 10.8 points per game and ranks eighth in the MIAA with 3.8 assists per game. Dewey is ranks seventh in the conference in minutes played at 31.8 minutes per game.

Figueroa averages 9.5 points and has made a team-high 25 3-pointers while Artis has scored 11 or more points in three of her last four games and averages 6.3 points and 3.5 rebounds. Nwidadah finished in double figures in both games last week to raise her average to 5.2 points to go with 4.3 rebounds per game.

Macy Doebele averages 7.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists while her 81.4-percent free throw percentage (35-for-43) is the fifth-best among MIAA players.

Through 16 games Missouri Southern is averaging 72.1 points while holding opponents to 58.1 points per game.

Reigning MIAA freshman of the year and player of the year Lacy Stokes is averaging 16.4 points and 5.8 assists and has recorded 47 steals.

Kryslyn Jones is in her first year at Missouri Southern after transferring from Texas A&M Kingsville and averages 9.8 points with 29 3-pointers.

Washburn will also be on the road Saturday afternoon at Pittsburg State (1:30 p.m. tipoff).

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