By Todd Fertig

The Washburn University women put an end to a three-game losing streak by downing No. 25-ranked Pittsburg State 75-62 Saturday at Washburn.  

Prior to Saturday, Washburn dropped games at Central Missouri and at Lincoln, then at home against Missouri Southern.

AubreeDeweyMS 1Senior Aubree Dewey scored a game-high 23 points Saturday as Washburn snapped a three-game losing streak with a 75-62 MIAA win over Pittsburg State. [File photo/TSN] 

“When you get into that streak, it’s easy to make it that perfect storm where you think that everything is going wrong,” said Washburn coach Lora Wentling. “But really, we got exposed in three different ways in those three games. Credit our kids, they handled each of those issues during the week in practice and their prep.  

“We’ve been challenging the heck out of them as a staff. And they rose to the occasion and showed incredible toughness today.” 

The Ichabods and Gorillas traded runs through the first half. After trailing 18-17 after a quarter, Washburn outscored Pittsburg State by 10 in the second quarter to go to halftime leading 41-32. 

Senior Aubrey Dewey led the way in the first half, running to several fastbreak buckets to collect 15 points before halftime. 

Washburn fought off any attempt by the Gorillas to rally in the second half. Ahead by just seven with 3:05 remaining, Washburn got back-to-back 3-pointers from senior Mackenzie Gamble and sophomore Aniah Wayne to widen the margin, finishing with a 13-point advantage. 

Leading the Ichabods with 23 points, Dewey hit one 3-point shot but found many of her buckets in transition.  

“I think we scouted well, and coach told us what we could get out of transition,” Dewey said. “Anything I can do to provide for the team in any possible way, game to game, whatever they need, is what I try to do.” 

Yiibari Nwidadah, a sophomore from Olathe, was huge in the second half, scoring nine points and grabbing eight rebounds after halftime as Washburn clung to its advantage.  

“She’s a monster. I think other teams will tell you that because she just doesn’t stop,” Wentling said about Nwidadah. “We tried putting guys against her in practice and even they get worn out. She is just a handful. As a sophomore, you can get a little shaken in your confidence when things don’t go your way. She showed today how dominant she can be.” 

Nwidadah finished with 15 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Wayne contributed 14 points and six rebounds. 

Junior Karenna Gerber, a graduate of Halstead High School, led Pittsburg State with 18 points and seven rebounds. 

“I thought we did a great job with our transition defense. I don’t think they had a single transition point,” Wentling said. “Players stepped up. We had more balanced scoring. We rebounded the ball a lot better. I think we set the tone and (the Gorillas) were playing catch up to everything we were doing. That’s how you want to play. Pitt State’s a really good team with really good players. So, I was just really proud of my team today.” 

The win lifted the Ichabods above .500 in the MIAA. They improved to 6-5, 11-6 overall while equaling their win total for the 2022-2023 season.

It was a load off the shoulders of the players and coaches. 

“We drug a little bit longer than we should have,” Dewey said. “But we all got together yesterday after practice and not necessarily ‘kumbaya,’ but it was a way to get together on the same page. It was a chance to just hang out and laugh together. And I think that showed today.'' 

Washburn now embarks on a four-game road string that includes games at Fort Hays State and at Nebraska-Kearney, a couple of the league’s leaders. 

“I think everybody is refreshed by (the win),” Wentling said. “But in this league, it’s got to be a night-to-night thing. So, we’re looking for that consistency. We told them, ‘Enjoy tonight. You deserve it. But we want to see who we are on Monday, who we are on Tuesday. Because we’ve got two huge road trips coming up.’ ” 


Pittsburg State 18 14 13 17 -- 62 

Washburn         17 24 13 21 -- 75 

Pittsburg State (12-5, 6-5) – Gerber 7-14 4-6 18, Holmes 2-7 0-0 5, Mays 7-9 1-2 15, Schreiner 3-7 0-0 8, Pyle 1-13 2-2 4, Campbell 1-1 0-0 2, Davila 3-4 0-0 7, Brown 1-6 0-0 3, Martin 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 25-61 7-10 62. 

Washburn (11-6, 6-5) – Amekporfor 2-3 4-4 8, Nwidadah 6-11 3-4 15, Gamble 3-8 0-0 8, Dewey 8-14 6-8 23, Wayne 4-12 2-2 14, Giovannetti 0-1 0-0 0, Schieferecke 1-3 0-0 3, Davison 0-3 2-2 2, Boyd 1-3 0-0 2. Totals: 25-58 17-20 75. 

3-point goals — Pittsburg State 5-20 (Schreiner 2-4, Brown 1-4 Holmes 1-3 Davila 1-2, Pyle 0-7); Washburn 8-26 (Wayne 4-11, Gamble 2-7, Dewey 1-3, Schieferecke 1-2, Amekprofor 0-1, Giovannetti 0-1, Davison 0-1). Rebounds — Pittsburg State 34 (Gerber 7); Washburn 36 (Nwidadah 14). Assists — Pittsburg State 12 (Pyle 5); Washburn 11 (Amekporfor 4). Turnovers — Pittsburg State 20; Washburn 15.  Fouled out — None. Attendance — 583 

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