KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC women’s basketball team (5-13, 1-2 WAC) let a fourth quarter lead slip away as Seattle U (8-10, 2-1 WAC) made a late comeback to hand the Roos a 62-58 loss Saturday afternoon.
Swinney Recreation Center was full of energy for the ‘Kansas City Day’ game, where several local groups attended the festivities and watched UMKC take the court in their customized jerseys designed by Charlie Hustle. Additionally, Aries Washington, Samantha Waldron and Kiana Law were all received honorary game balls prior to the opening tip for reaching 1,000 career point and 500 career rebound milestones.
In-game action got off to a slow start following the pregame buzz, with both sides committing two turnovers and missing a shot attempt before Daijane Dillard (Los Angeles, Calif.) opened the scoring with a make from beyond the arc.
The remainder of the first quarter saw both teams continue to feel each other out. As the opening period drew to a close, Seattle U guard Alexis Montgomery connected on a three-pointer to give the Redhawks a six-point lead, the largest of the quarter. UMKC found an answer with a Kiana Law (Pittsburgh, Pa.) jumper that just beat the buzzer, trimming the Seattle U lead to 18-14.
Law, who finished the game with five points and a team-high eight rebounds, played in her second game since returning to the floor from a nose injury. Her work on the glass moved her up one spot on the all-time UMKC rebounding list, where she now sits in eight place with 569 career rebounds.
The Redhawks continued to slowly build on the slim as second quarter action opened up. A score inside the paint from Seattle U’s Kallin Spiller extended Redhawks’ lead to their largest of the game at eight points, but was quickly answered by a Rilynne Like (Overland Park, Kan.) three-pointer to keep the Roos close. The Roos continued to push forward but were unsuccessful in erasing the deficit prior to halftime.
UMKC shooting struggles in the opening half played a major role in a 32-25 deficit the team faced heading into the third quarter. The Roos shot just 9-of-27 (33.3%) from the field and 2-of-10 from beyond the arc.
The seven-point hole did not deter UMKC from coming out firing in the second half, as the team raced out of the gates on a 17-4 run to reclaim the lead. The stretch was sparked by senior guard Aries Washington (Kansas City, Mo.), who scored the Roos’ first 15 points of the third quarter after being held scoreless in the first half. Washington finished her day with 15 points, including three makes from beyond the arc, in addition to grabbing five rebounds and dishing out a pair of assists.
“I’m proud of our second half, especially with how strong we came out in the third quarter,” commented head coach Jacie Hoyt. “We held a very good team to just seven points in the third quarter and kept Alexis Montgomery, the preseason Player of the Year, under her average so that’s something we’re proud of.”
Fourth quarter action began play with UMKC holding a slim 42-39 lead after a great defensive effort in the third period held Seattle U to just seven points on 11.1% field goal shooting. A three-pointer on the opening possession pushed the Roos’ lead to six points, matching their largest advantage of the game.
The lead would be relinquished at the 4:16 mark on a Jacinta Beckley jumper, the last time the Roos would find themselves on top. The team continued to fight until the very last seconds of the game in what proved to be a nail-biting finish.
Samantha Waldron (Omaha, Neb.) connected on a three with ten seconds remaining to bring the team back within one possession, trailing 60-58. Following a 1-of-2 trip for the Redhawks, UMKC executed a play brilliantly to create an open look for Washington in the corner but her shot attempt fell just short.
Kristen Moore (Chicago, Ill.) joined Washington in double figures scoring, finishing with a game-high 19 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field and an outstanding 9-of-10 from the foul line. Moore also pulled down seven rebounds in the contest.
“This was one of those games where we did everything we could to put ourselves in a position to win at the end of the game,” noted Hoyt. “At the end of the day we just didn’t make the shots we needed to and left a lot of easy points on the board. We had a great look at the end with the three but just couldn’t knock it down.”
The Roos will travel west next week for a pair of WAC road contests. The team will play at CSU Bakersfield on Thursday, Jan. 18 at 9 p.m. CT before taking on Grand Canyon on Saturday, Jan. 20 at 3 p.m. CT. Both games will be broadcast on the WAC Digital Network free of charge.
– UMKC –