By Todd Fertig

TopSports.news

The Washburn men took another step Saturday toward achieving their goals, and took revenge on a team that beat them earlier in the season in the process.

JarmellJohnson 2Sophomore Jarmell Johnson scored 14 points in Washburn's 68-49 MIAA romp past Central Missouri on Saturday. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

The Ichabods trounced Central Missouri State – a team that beat them by 11 points in January – at Lee Arena Saturday by a score of 68-49.

The Mules warmed up with just eight players and employed just seven of them in the contest. The two leading scorers from the first meeting did not suit up on Saturday. Still, Washburn coach Brett Ballard saw no need to apologize for the drubbing.

“They weren’t at full strength, and they were trying to piece some things together. But still, I don’t think we have to apologize for winning a league game by 20,” Ballard said. “You never want to lose twice to a team, so winning today was big for a lot of reasons.”

The Ichabods were methodical in their handling of the Mules. They steadily pulled away, leading 33-19 at halftime and continuing to stretch the lead throughout. With two minutes remaining, Ballard cleared his bench.

The Ichabods had four players in double figures, led by guard Jarmell Johnson, who came off the bench to score 14, his high point output in the MIAA this year.

“My teammates looked for me today,” Johnson said. “I kind of had the hot hand, so they kept looking for me. We had a really great game plan.”

Johnson, who hit 5-9 from the field and 3-4 from the free throw line, said he is happy to be a sparkplug off the bench for the Ichabods.

“Coming off the bench, whether I’m getting 20 minutes a game, or getting 25 or 15, it’s all the same,” Johnson said. “I just go out there and try to compete as hard as I can. So, it really doesn’t matter to me.

“You really can just rotate any of us guards at our position and I feel like we’ll all impact the game at a high level. We just compete to make each other better.”

“He gave us a great spark off the bench,” Ballard said of Johnson. “He did a great job attacking. He’s a big-time athlete and did a very good job today at getting the ball to the rim, which we needed.”

Washburn entered the game in a three-way tie for third place in the MIAA with a 12-7 conference record. While the top two spots appear out of reach, positioning in the pack is still important, Ballard said.

“(Finishing in third place) would be big for the seeding for the MIAA tournament,” Ballard said. “And I think our league will get three teams into the NCAA tournament. So, if we can be in that third spot, either tied or outright, going into the MIAA tournament, it would give us a great chance to play in the postseason.”

The Ichabods have two regular season games remaining, at Missouri Southern on Wednesday, then at home against Emporia State next Saturday.

“We knew this was a big week for us with back-to-back home games (The Ichabods defeated Lincoln at home on Thursday) with a lot of post-season implications if we could get these done,” Ballard said. “So, it was really good to get some momentum going into the final week of the season.

“We’ve got a very young team and a lot of guys learning as we go. For as young as they are, they’ve accomplished a lot. Now we’ve got to go finish this thing strong. We’ve got a lot to play for, but these next two weeks will really determine a lot about how we feel overall about this season. We’ve put ourselves in a good spot. Now we’ve got to go finish strong.”

WASHBURN MEN 68, CENTRAL MISSOURI STATE 49

Central Missouri 19 30 -- 49

Washburn           33 35 -- 68

Central Missouri (11-15, 6-14) –  Haile 1-3 0-0 2, Kiner 6-14 0-0 14, Nero 1-10 0-0 3, Knott 4-14 2-3 12, Hayes 2-10 2-4 6, Martin 2-3 0-0 6, Chapman 3-5 0-0 6. Totals: 19-59 4-7 49.

Washburn (17-9, 13-7) – Christiansen 2-5 1-1 6, Orr 4-11 1-2 9, Ungashick 4-6 2-2 12, Bachelor 4-6 0-0 10, Keegan 3-5 0-0 6, Shorter 3-11 3-5 11, Johnson 5-9 3-4 14, Dajani 0-3 0-0 0, Byrd 0-0 0-0 0, Eman 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 25-57 10-14 68.

3-point goals — Central Missouri 7-26 (Knott 2-10, Kiner 2-4, Martin 2-3, Nero 1-7, Chapman 0-2); Washburn 8-26 (Shorter 2-8, Bachelor 2-4, Ungashick 2-3, Johnson 1-4, Christiansen 1-3, Keegan 0-2, Eman 0-1, Dajani 0-1). Rebounds — Central Missouri 31 (Kiner 6); Washburn 42 (Orr 9). Assists — Central Missouri 7 (Nero 2, Knott 2, Hayes 2); Washburn 14 (Orr 3, Ungashick 3, Bachelor 3). Turnovers — Central Missouri 7; Washburn 6.  Fouled out — None. Attendance — 1,376.

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