Washburn's men's basketball team will try to build off last Saturday's dramatic comeback MIAA victory over Emporia State when it hosts Missouri Western on Thursday while the Ichabod women will be looking to get back on track after a double-digit loss to the Hornets.
Washburn's women, 7-5 overall and 1-2 in the MIAA, will host Missouri Western (11-2, 3-0) in a 5:30 p.m. contest at Lee Arena, followed by a 7:30 p.m. men's game between the Ichabods (7-5, 2-1) and the Griffons (7-8, 3-1).
The Washburn men rallied from a 15-point deficit in the second half to edge Emporia State 80-78 on Saturday and Ichabod coach Brett Ballard is hopeful his team can gain some carry-over benefit from that win.
"It is only one, but it's a rivalry game and it's a big one for us," Ballard said. "I do hope that it will give us the confidence that we need and give us a boost moving forward, just to show our guys that hey, 'We've got some pretty good players if we believe in each other and believe in what we're doing.' "
Junior Tyler Geiman leads the Ichabods in scoring with a 15.8 average and in assists with 6.4 per game. Sophomore Jalen Lewis averages 13.2 points and scored 25 points with five 3-pointers against Emporia State while junior Drew Maschoff averages 11.8 points and sophomore Jonny Clausing 10.2 points and 8.2 rebounds.
Missouri Western defeated Northeastern State 76-71 in overtime Monday night, the Griffons' third straight win.
Tyrell Carroll leads the Griffons in scoring at 17.6 points per game and in assists at 6.3 per game. Tyus Millhollin is scoring 14.7 points and has hit a team-high 44 3-pointers while Will Eames is Missouri Western's leading rebounder with a 7.2 average and is averaging 11.4 points.
The WU women are coming off a 69-57 loss to No. 20-ranked Emporia State, with the Hornets opening up a 19-point halftime lead (46-27) and holding off the Ichabods the rest of the way.
"After that game they're going to be challenged hard and they should challenge themselves hard," Washburn coach Ron McHenry said of his team. "I told them, 'We're much better than what we showed (Saturday).'
"I know that was a good basketball team we were playing, but we didn't show anything of what we are about or any of our grit, our toughness, our togetherness. We're better than that and I told them that, but talk's easy and you better just come out and work at it."
Senior Reagan Phelan leads the Ichabods in scoring with a 14.2 average and leads the MIAA in assists with a 5.5 average. Phelan is fifth on WU's career list for assists with 371.
Junior Hunter Bentley is averaging 12.9 points and 7.1 rebounds while senior Shelbe Piggie is averaging 12.8 points.
The Griffons are coming off an 86-63 win over Northeastern State for their sixth straight victory. After falling in their season opener to Concordia-St. Paul, the Griffons have won 11 of their last 12 games.
Chris Wilson paces the Griffon offense with a 15.6 scoring average while Corbyn Cunningham averages 15.1 points and 7.2 rebounds.