The Hornets are now ranked first in the MIAA following the 85-75 victory over the Ichabods. Following the win over Washburn, the Hornets fell to the Fort Hays Tigers 78-68.
The Emporia State basketball team played the most anticipated game of the season last Saturday.
They faced off against long time rival the Washburn Ichabods. There were 4294 fans in attendance according to ESU media relations.
“The atmosphere was great,” said junior forward Jeremiah Box. “The crowd really pumped us up.”
Security swept the auditorium issued a warning to all fans that if anyone was caught with a whistle they would be kicked out, after an ESU fan blowing a whistle each time a WU player attempted a free throw could not be caught.
The tip off was won by Washburn who failed to score on their first possession of the game.
The Hornets scored the first points of the game on a three pointer made by junior guard Lamar Wilbern. Washburn immediately answered with a three of their own.
The two teams were neck and neck throughout the entire first half of the game. With a minute remaining in the first half the Hornets had a two point lead until the Ichabods tied the game with a lay-up from DeAndre Eggins.
The teams went to the locker rooms tied at 41. The Hornets had seven fouls in the first half compared to the Ichabod’s eight. Washburn missed four free throws while the Hornets only missed two.
The second half started off with a Washburn domination when the Ichabods went on a 14 point run and did not allow the Hornets to score for almost two minutes.
“I don’t think I did a good job at the half,” said head coach David Moe. “We didn’t really make any adjustments and we made it easy for them.”
Despite the 14 point lead, Hornets didn’t panic.
“They got us down 14 points at the beginning of the first half,” Wilbern said “We fought through adversary and got the win so it feels really good.”
ESU answered by going on a 10-0 scoring run which pulled the Hornets within five points of Washburn 58-53.
The Hornets overtook the Ichabods with a Robert Moore’s three-pointer, bringing the score to 72-71 with 2:56 left in the game.
The Hornets then went on a 9-0 extending the lead to 81-71 which in turn forced the Ichabods to start fouling.
The Ichabods committed five fouls in the final minute of the game.
Dustin Andrews led the Hornets with 19 points on the night. Lamar Wilbern had 18 points and he led the team in rebounds with seven.
Jeremiah Box had 13 points and sophomore forward Adam Holthaus finished with 10 points and six rebounds.
Washburn had 10 fouls in the second half compared to the Hornets’ seven.
Following this victory, the Hornets are the number one team in the MIAA.
“Its early and it does not mean anything,” Moe said. “The real test is going to be holding onto it.”
The players seemed to be in sync and they worked together to get the victory.
“I think we played a complete game and played 40 minutes,” Wilbern said. “We came out a little flat in the second half but we competed and played 40 minutes.”
Holthuas and Shang Ping contributed to the victory in other ways.
“They don’t always get the ball all the time but they step up every game,” said Box. “The picks they set are amazing. They do not get enough credit but they are the key to our game.”
The fans had an impact on the players throughout this game.
“If they could come out to every game like this we would really appreciate it,” Wilbern said. “They make you give a little more and if they could keep coming that would be great.”
The Hornets ended their three game winning streak losing to the Fort Hays State Tigers.
The Hornets shot 40 percent in the first half, compared to the Tigers’ 50 percent average.
Tim Niles led the Hornets in points with 14 points. Wilbern and Box both scored 12 points.
The Hornets have an overall record of 13-4 and are 7-3 in the MIAA.
The Hornets’ next opponent will be Northwest Missouri at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Missouri.
Matthew Pierce/The Bulletin