Washburn men's basketball coach Brett Ballard never spoke four truer words.

"Better late than never,'' Ballard said.

BradyChristiansenLincoln 1Sophomore Brady Christiansen hit the game-winning 3-pointer in Thursday's 66-64 Washburn MIAA win over Lincoln. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

WUjubeLincoln 1Freshman Jack Bachelor (center) celebrates Thursday's 66-64 MIAA win over Lincoln with his Washburn teammates. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

After trailing for virtually the entire night, the Ichabods pulled out a 66-64 home MIAA win over Lincoln on sophomore Brady Christiansen's game-winning 3-pointer from the top of the key.

"We ran that play like the last three plays of the game and it was just kind of read what the big guy did,'' Christiansen said. "He went with Bach (Jack Bachelor) on the drive and I popped out and tried to step up and make it and as soon as I released it, I knew it was going in. I really did.''

The Ichabods trailed by 12 points with 14:46 remaining but rode the outside shooting of freshman Brayden Shorter to give themselves a chance.

Washburn finally took its first lead of the night (63-62) with 30.2 seconds left on a pair of clutch free throws from Bachelor.

Lincoln star DJ Richardson hit two free throws (7 of 7 on the night) to put the Blue Tigers back in front with 18.7 seconds remaining but Christiansen got a wide open look as time ran down off a dish out from Bachelor and hit nothing but net to give the Ichabods (16-9 overall, 12-7 overall) the victory.

"He's a good shooter and he hasn't shot it great this year, but he's a good shooter and he got a really, really clean look,'' Ballard said. "Jack made a good play and it looked good when it left his hands.

"I thought he really competed and did a great job on the defensive end, so I was really happy that he was the one that made the last shot.''

Lincoln (14-11, 9-10) led 31-22 at the half after leading by as many as 11 points.

The game was tied at 20-20 before Lincoln reeled off 11 straight points to take a 31-20 advantage inside the final minute of the half.

The Blue Tigers hit five 3-pointers in the half while Washburn was just 1 of 9 from outside the arc.

BraydenShorterLincoln 1Freshman Brayden Shorter scored 25 points, 23 in the second half, as Washburn rallied for a 66-64 MIAA win over Lincoln. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

But Washburn, and specifically Shorter, caught fire in the second half, with the Ichabods hitting 7 of 10 3s, including 5 of 7 treys from Shorter, who led all scorers with 25 points, 23 after halftime.

After Lincoln took a 42-30 lead the 6-foot-5 Springfield, Mo.-Kickapoo product scored 10 straight points to get the Ichabods back in the hunt. Later in the half, with WU down 56-51, Shorter scored five straight points to tie the game at 56 with 4:19 left.

"I've had a couple of nights (like this), but tonight every shot just felt so good,'' Shorter said. "Coach was running plays for me. He knew I got the hot hand. I was just really playing basketball and was just having fun.''

Bachelor, the Washburn Rural product, backed Shorter with 13 points and also dished out a game-high seven assists.

"Our freshmen were phenomenal,'' Ballard said. "Jack was really, really good and then Shorter was unreal in the second half. He's got a lot of characteristics you look for in a good player. He's tough, he's competitive, a great work ethic and he's got a short memory. Once he sees one go in, the basket gets really big for him.

"We've seen him have some really, really big days in practice. It was fun to see it carry over to a game.''

Richardson led four Lincoln players in double figures with 20 points while Sam Rautins added 14 points and Trey Boston and Elijah Barr 10 apiece.

Washburn snapped a brief two-game losing streak with the dramatic win.

"There's no must wins but this is as close to a must win that you have,'' Ballard said. "We've got to protect our home court. We're fighting for that third seed (in the MIAA tournament) and we're fighting for an NCAA playoff berth so we need to stack some wins and this one was big.''

Washburn will be back at home Saturday for a 3 p.m. MIAA game against Central Missouri.


Lincoln      31 33 -- 64

Washburn 22 44 -- 66 

LINCOLN (14-11, 9-10)

Roberto Tanchyn 2-2 1-1 5, Farr 3-11 4-6 10, Richardson 6-10 7-7 20, Madge Jr. 1-7 0-0 3, Robinson 0-3 0-0 0, Rautins 5-7 0-0 14, Boston 4-5 0-0 10, Wright 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 22-46 12-14 64.

WASHBURN (16-9, 12-7) 

Christiansen 2-5 3-4 8, Orr 1-8 0-0 2, Ungashick 3-9 0-0 6, Bachelor 4-10 5-6 13, Keegan 2-5 0-0 5, Shorter 9-14 2-2 25, Johnson 1-5 4-6 7. Totals 22-56 14-18 66. 

3-point goals -- Lincoln 8-18 (Rautins 4-5, Boston 2-2, Richardson 1-1, Madge Jr. 1-5, Farr 0-3, Robinson 0-2), Washburn 8-19 (Shorter 5-9, Christiansen 1-2, Johnson 1-1, Keegan 1-2, Ungashick 0-2, Bachelor 0-3). Rebounds -- Lincoln 28 (Roberto Tanchyn 6, Farr 6), Washburn 33 (Christiansen 8, Orr 8). Assists -- Lincoln 13 (Farr 4), Washburn 12 (Bachelor 7). Turnovers -- Lincoln 11, Washburn 7. Total fouls -- Lincoln 15, Washburn 11. Fouled out -- none. Technical fouls -- none.

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