KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC women’s basketball team (1-7) fell narrowly to Oral Roberts (6-3) in an intensely challenged game, as they were handed a 76-73 overtime loss in Wednesday night’s contest.
Oral Roberts entered the game with a significant amount of momentum, riding a four-game winning streak into the matchup. The Roos also benefitted from great energy as head coach Jacie Hoyt was presented an honorary game ball prior to tipoff for picking up her first career win at UMKC.
The game was neck and neck from the opening tip to the final whistle, featuring 12 ties and five lead changes over the course of the action. Neither side was able to claim a lead larger than seven points in a well-fought battle on both ends.
The Roos jumped out of the gate on a 12-7 run in the opening minutes of the contest, sparked by a pair of three-pointers from Aries Washington (Kansas City, Mo.), which matched their largest lead of the game. Washington was terrific for UMKC in the game, finishing with 22 points on 7-of-15 (46.7%) shooting in addition to collecting a team-high seven rebounds and dishing out three assists.
Oral Roberts would break out to their first lead of the game later in the first quarter and stretched their advantage to seven, matching their largest lead of the game, with 2:23 left in the second quarter. The Roos clawed into the deficit as the period expired with Washington knocking down a three-pointer and converting a pair of free throws on consecutive possessions to trim the Oral Roberts lead to 37-36 at halftime.
Kiana Law (Pittsburgh, Pa.) was an absolute force for UMKC throughout the contest, consistently answering the call when it appeared Oral Roberts would take over the contest at several points. The senior forward finished with a game and career-high 29 points in shooting a super-efficient 13-of-17 (76.5%) from the field. Law, who also pulled down six rebounds, scored eight points in the fourth quarter in a brilliant effort to pull out a victory.
The second half of action continued the trend of both sides trading shots back and forth with neither team able to take control of the game. The Golden Eagles pushed a lead out to seven points twice more at the 3:41 mark of the third quarter and at 8:54 in the fourth quarter.
The resilient UMKC squad refused to go down without a fight and turned up the intensity of their full-court pressure defense that has been greatly effective over the past several games. The Roos generated seven Oral Roberts turnovers in the fourth quarter, forcing an astounding 25 total on the night, which sparked a 13-2 run to give UMKC a 61-57 lead with 5:39 to play in regulation. UMKC held
Oral Roberts was able to tie the game at 69-69 at the end of the fourth period on a Faith Ihim layup as time expired. The Golden Eagles took a 76-73 lead by converting 1-of-2 free throws three seconds remaining in the game, setting up one last chance for the Roos to force a second overtime. Washington was able to fire off a good lock from the top of the key but her shot rimmed off the iron as the buzzer sounded.
Samantha Waldron (Omaha, Neb.) joined Law and Washington as the third UMKC player to score in double figures. She dropped in 14 points to go along with four rebounds and three assists. As a team, the Roos shot the ball effectively in the contest, going 29-of-63 (46%) from the field and 11-of-14 (78.6%) from the foul stripe.
“In close games like this every single possession matters and we have to continue to execute both offensively and defensively without overlooking the little things throughout the entire game,” said Hoyt. “We learned some great lessons from this one and that was my message to our team. It hurts to lose but we have to grow from it and get better at transferring the things we work on in practice into games. ”
The Roos are back on the road again this weekend to square off with Wichita State on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 2 p.m. CT. The game have subscription video coverage on Shocker HD and will have Live Stats available.
– UMKC –