Fueled by another balanced scoring attack, the No. 13-ranked Fort Hays State women's basketball team picked up its ninth straight win, handling Washburn 74-61 on Saturday at Gross Memorial Coliseum.
FHSU (15-2, 6-2 MIAA) placed four in double figures — Whitney Randall (16 points), Belle Barbieri (15), Kacey Kennett (13), Taylor Rolfs (11) — while Jaden Hobbs added nine points and four assists.
"I think that's pretty normal for us," FHSU coach Tony Hobson said of the scoring balance. "That's kind of how we operate most of the time, and that's good in the respect that if somebody's a little off, you have somebody else there to pick you up.
"A good balanced attack is just hard to defend against."
The Tigers weren't nearly as hot from the perimeter as they were on Wednesday in a 32-point win over Emporia State, but they found success in the paint. FHSU finished 24 of 53 from the field (45.3 percent) while going 4 of 14 from 3-point range.
"We knew Washburn was going to be a little bit smaller than us, so our game plan was to post up a lot of the people because we're a lot bigger; our guards are a lot bigger than other guards," Randall said. "That was kind of the game plan — post up, have good defense and score inside."
Washburn hit its first eight shots, not missing a field goal attempt until the closing seconds of the first quarter, which ended in a 21-21 tie. But the Ichabods were also held back by eight turnovers in the first frame.
The Tigers began to break away with a 16-5 second quarter to take a 37-26 lead into the break. The Ichabods went just 2 of 17 from the field in the second quarter.
"We definitely stepped up our defense," Randall said. "Coach got on to us a little bit and that helped us. We knew that was what we needed to do, just step up our defense and then our defense would lead to us scoring on offense."
A jumper from Washburn’s Alexis McAfee cut the FHSU lead to five with 6:19 left in the third quarter, but Kennett answered with a 3-pointer. The Tigers led 57-48 heading into the fourth and led by double digits for almost all of the fourth quarter.
WU (8-8, 2-5 MIAA) went 23 of 53 from the field for 43.4%. The Ichabods were 7 of 17 from behind the arc.
Hunter Bentley led Washburn with 13 points while Abby Oliver and Shelbe Piggie added 12 and 10, respectively. Reagan Phelan dished out seven assists for the Ichabods, who have lost four of their last five.
Barbieri recorded a double-double, pulling down 10 rebounds. Randall and Barbieri each had three steals.
FHSU forced Washburn into 18 turnovers while committing 10.
The Tigers will play at Missouri Western on Thursday before heading to Northwest Missouri on Saturday.
"We're not even to the halfway point yet (of the conference slate), but any time you beat Emporia State and Washburn on the same week, it's a great week," Hobson said. "Wednesday was a big blowout win, and it was more kind of a blue collar, workmanlike win tonight. We didn't quite have the energy tonight; we should have been a team with a little more energy than them. I could see at the start of the game we had a couple people that didn't quite have the spring that they had on Wednesday.
"But we still played fine, played through it as well as we could."