January 14, 2004
No. 13 Washburn Defeats No. 1 Northwest, 72-63
MARYVILLE, Mo. -- Fresh off being named the No. 1 team in NCAA Division II, the Northwest Missouri State University men's basketball team fell to the Washburn Ichabods 72-63 Wednesday night at Bearcat Arena.
Northwest and Washburn each entered the game undefeated and tied for first in the MIAA. The Bearcats and Ichabods were two of just four undefeated teams remaining in Division II. Northwest also saw its 26-game home winning streak, second-longest in Division II, come to an end.
The contest resembled heavyweight prizefighters in a championship fight early. Washburn landed the first big blow, grabbing an early 10-2 lead. Northwest countered with an 8-0 run of its own to tie the game at 10-10. Eight minutes into the contest, it was tied 14-14. The Ichabods outscored Northwest 15-4 over the next five minutes, grabbing a 10-point advantage 29-19.
Washburn hit seven first-half three-pointers and shot better than 60 percent for much of the early going. The Ichabods pushed their lead to 12, 37-25 at the four-minute mark. But Keanan Weir (Sr., Detroit, Mich.) single-handedly kept Northwest in it. Weir hit three straight three-pointers in the final 1:55 of the half to cut the Northwest deficit to seven, 41-34, at the intermission.
Washburn scored the first five points of the second half and grabbed a double-digit lead once again, 46-34. The Bearcats didn't score for the first 4:25 of the second half, finally ending the drought when Byron Jackson (Jr., Phoenix, Ariz.) scored inside to make it 46-36. Northwest tried to grab momentum, while Washburn continually held the Bearcats at bay. Another Weir three-pointer, with 7:31 remaining, pulled Northwest within seven, 58-51. It was the closest the 'Cats had been since halftime.
A pair of free throws from Kelvin Parker (Sr., Raytown, Mo.) got Northwest within five, 58-53. But Washburn quickly answered. J.P. Meitner hit a jumper, while Jerad Head nailed a three-pointer and the Ichabods were back on top by 10, 63-53. Northwest put together a 7-2 spurt, capped by an Austin Meyer (Soph., Blue Springs, Mo.) three-pointer. That run pulled Northwest within five again, 65-60, with 2:47 remaining.
The Bearcats had a chance to pull within two on a Meyer three-point attempt from the corner. But the shot went in and out. Northwest never got closer, as Washburn held on for the nine-point victory.
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