Washburn basketball teams return from break to host nonconference foes

Javion Blake leads the Washburn men with 16.5 points per game. The WU men face Avila at 2 p.m. on Saturday and the WU women will follow against Benedictine at 4 p.m. in Lee Arena. (File photo/The Capital-Journal)

The Washburn men’s and women’s basketball teams entered the holidays in high spirits and will try to pick up where they left off when they return from an 11-day break Saturday to play a nonconference doubleheader at Lee Arena.

 

Washburn’s men will put a seven-game win streak on the line when they play host to Avila at 2 p.m. in the day’s opener. The Ichabods (9-3) rallied from a 12-point deficit at Lincoln on Dec. 18 to keep their win streak intact and improve to 4-0 in the MIAA.

They will meet Avila for the first time since Jan. 10, 1984, when the Ichabods eked out a 61-59 victory in Kansas City. Avila (6-5, 0-3 Heart of America) is led by Dominique Washington, who averages 15.1 points and 7.8 rebounds. Tajh Downs also is a defensive force for the Eagles, ranking 10th in NAIA Division I with 1.9 blocks per game.

Javion Blake tops WU with a 16.5-point average while Brady Skeens adds a team-high 10.0 rebounds and 13.0 points.

Washburn’s women will follow by welcoming Benedictine for a 4 p.m. tipoff. WU carries a four-game win streak into the clash and is 10-1 overall, its best start since the 2005-06 squad opened 11-0.

Benedictine (11-2) averages 76.7 points, second in the NAIA, and is paced by forward Kristen Murphy’s 15.3-point scoring clip. Murphy also averages 3.2 assists and 2.2 steals.

Reagan Phelan and Mackenzie Loe lead a balanced Washburn attack with respective scoring averages of 14.7 and 11.0 points.

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