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Northern Colorado, Denver Await UMKC in Roo Holiday Classic
UMKC Athletics 12-17-2017
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Roo Holiday Classic is set to take place on Tuesday, Dec. 19 and Wednesday, Dec. 20 with the UMKC women’s basketball team (2-8) competing alongside Liberty (4-5), Northern Colorado (6-3) and Denver (7-5) in the event.   

UMKC enters the tournament fresh off a 114-59 demolition of Harris-Stowe State, pouring in its second-highest regular season point total in the history of the program. Offense was easy to find as five Roos scored in double figures in the contest for the second time in the 2017-18 season, while three players finished with 20-plus points.

The impressive production vaulted UMKC’s average scoring total to 67.7 points per game, ranking third in the Western Athletic Conference. On the other end of the floor, the Roos have been efficient in defending the three-point line, limiting opponents to a WAC leading 28.9% shooting from beyond the arc.

Pressure defense has become a staple for UMKC as they have navigated through a tough nonconference schedule. The Roos have created havoc recently, forcing a total of 45 opponent turnovers in their past two games. The team ranks third in the WAC in forcing an average of 17.6 opponent miscues per game.

The two games in the Roo Holiday Classic will be UMKC’s fourth and fifth games at Swinney Recreation Center thus far in the season. The Roos will look to continue defending their home court in the pair of matchups after claiming victories in two of their first three home games.

Three UMKC players – Aries Washington (Kansas City, Mo.), Kristen Moore (Chicago, Ill.) and Samantha Waldron (Omaha, Neb.) – hold double digit scoring averages through the first ten games of the season. Washington is averaging a team-best 18.2 points per game, shooting an efficient 47.7% from the field and 37.5% from three-point distance. Her excellent production thus far places her fourth in the conference scoring leaders.

Waldron is averaging an even 10 points per game but has found other ways to chip in. Her 20 assists on the year is second-most for the Roos and she leads the team with 18 steals, good for fifth in the WAC. Moore has been relied upon heavily to give a solid post presence for the team and has made significant contributions thus far. Her 13.5 points per game is second-most on the team, seventh in the WAC, while her 7.3 rebounds per game leads the Roos and ranks sixth in conference.

Washington and Waldron are both closing in on major milestones in their UMKC careers. Waldron currently sits at 973 career points while Washington trails closely with 959. Both could conceivably reach the impressive 1,000 career point mark during the Roo Holiday Classic. Kiana Law (Pittsburgh, Pa.) is also close to reaching a major accomplishment, approaching a move up one spot on the career rebounding leaders in UMKC history. With 558 career rebounds, Law ranks 9th in UMKC history in the department and needs just five more rebounds to take sole possession of 8th place.

 

UMKC Roos vs. Northern Colorado Bears

Date: Tuesday, December 19

Tipoff: 1:00 p.m. CT

Location: Kansas City, Mo. (Swinney Recreation Center)

Series: UMKC leads 4-1

Tickets: www.umkckangaroos.com

Live Stats: www.umkcstats.com

Radio: www.umkckangaroos.com

TV: WAC Digital Network

Live In-Game Update: @umkcwbb

Northern Colorado opens play in the Roo Holiday Classic after claiming wins in the two of their last three contests, with a 55-44 road loss coming most recently to Colorado State. Three Bears players – guards Savannah Scott and Savannah Smith, and center Courtney Smith – all hold double figure scoring averages through the team’s first nine matchups. Scott currently leads Northern Colorado in accounting for 16.4 points per game and is scoring well from all areas of the floor, shooting 48.2% from the field, 45.5% from three-point distance and 85.7% from the foul line. The 6-3 Courtney Smith will be a major test in the paint for UMKC, as the junior center is averaging 14.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, and one block per game in addition to shooting an impressive 91.7% from the free throw line. Keeping the Bears off the foul line will be key for the Roos as Northern Colorado has struggled shooting from the field, 38.9% on the year, but has been terrific in their team free throw shooting at 84%.

 

UMKC Roos vs. Denver Pioneers

Date: Wednesday, December 20

Tipoff: 3:30 p.m. CT

Location: Kansas City, Mo. (Swinney Recreation Center)

Series: Tied 2-2

Tickets: www.umkckangaroos.com

Live Stats: www.umkcstats.com

Radio: www.umkckangaroos.com

TV: WAC Digital Network

Live In-Game Update: @umkcwbb

Denver heads to Kansas City after emerging victorious by way of a buzzer-beating shot in a 74-72 overtime win over Utah State on the road. The Pioneers enter the tournament riding a wave of momentum after claiming wins in three of their last four games. Denver has used a well-balanced scoring attack in the opening half of their schedule, with five players averaging between seven and ten points per contest and no players averaging in double figures. Sophomore guard Briana Johnson leads the Pioneers with 9.8 points per game after putting together a monster performance in the overtime win over Utah State, finishing with a game-high 22 points to go along with six rebounds and three assists. The Roos will certainly need to keep tabs on freshman guard Carie Weinman who has been deadly from beyond the arc. Weinman is averaging nine points per game, splashing home a total of 21 three-pointers on the season while shooting an astounding 53.8% from beyond the arc.

UMKC will head to the Sunshine State to compete in the FAU Holiday Tournament following the Roo Holiday Classic. The Roos will square off with Stetson on Friday, Dec. 29 at 1:30 p.m. CT before taking on either FAU or Delaware State on Dec. 30.

For more information on UMKC women’s basketball, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

– UMKC –

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