KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC women’s basketball team (8-15, 4-4 WAC) hits the road for a pair of Western Athletic Conference (WAC) matchups this week. A contest with Seattle U (11-11, 5-2 WAC) is slated for Thursday, Feb. 8 at 8 p.m. CT prior to a game with Utah Valley (9-13, 3-4 WAC) on Saturday, Feb. 10 at 4 p.m. CT.
The Roos march into the pair of games after coming up a with a home split last week, claiming a huge 84-82 overtime over Grand Canyon before falling to CSU Bakersfield. UMKC currently sits in fifth place in the WAC with a 4-4 league record heading into the second half of conference play.
Offensively, the team has begun to pick up the pace deeper into WAC play. After being held to under 60 points in the first three league games, the Roos have scored 60+ points in their last five contests. UMKC ranks seventh in conference at 62.1 points per game in league games, but own the fourth-highest field goal percentage (40.7%) and third-highest three-point field goal percentage (36.2%).
Senior guard Samantha Waldron (Omaha, Neb.) has been red-hot from beyond the arc of late, knocking down a total of seven last week. Her 17 points against CSU Bakersfield moved her into the top-10 all-time scoring list in UMKC career history with 1,151 points. Waldron’s 14.1 points per game in WAC play ranks among the top-10 in conference and her 26 makes from three-point distance in league games leads the WAC.
UMKC has been very solid in limiting opponent rebounds as well as converting their foul shots through the first eight WAC contests. The Roos are allowing 33.4 rebounds per game, third-most in the conference, and are shooting a stellar 76.2% from the free throw line, trailing only Seattle U.
The team has not been reluctant towards letting shots fly from three-point distance and has seen a great deal of success from it against WAC competition. UMKC is averaging 18.6 attempts from beyond the arc and have converted on a solid 36.2% from three, good for third-best in the WAC.
Senior forward Kiana Law (Pittsburgh, Pa.) enters the week after putting together two-consecutive fantastic performances. Law averaged 14 points and 6.5 rebounds in the pair of games last week and will look to continue providing the Roos with a solid post presence down the stretch.
Daijane Dillard (Los Angeles, Calif.) finds herself once again among the national leaders in assist to turnover ratio, ranking 16th in the country and leading the WAC at 2.77. After posting a six assist and one turnover game last time out, Dillard will need to keep the pace in navigating the offense in the matchups ahead.
UMKC Roos @ Seattle U Redhawks
Date: Thursday, February 8
Tipoff: 8:00 p.m. CT
Location: Seattle, Wash. (Connolly Complex)
Series: UMKC trails 6-4
Live Stats: Statbroadcast
Live In-Game Update: @umkcwbb
Scouting the Redhawks
Seattle U enters the week with a full head of steam after claiming victories in six of their previous seven contests, including a 62-58 win over UMKC in Kansas City. The Redhawks currently sit in third place in WAC standings with a 5-2 conference record.
A potent scoring attack has been key for Seattle U in their 2017-18 success, sitting as the conference’s top scoring offense on the season at 69.4 points per game. The Redhawks have not fared quite as well in WAC play as that total has dropped slightly to 66.6 points per game, good for fourth in the league.
Senior guard Alexis Montgomery has been a major factor in the team’s offensive output, leading the WAC at 20.9 points per game. Montgomery is a central piece in the Redhawks attack with the volume of field goal attempts she has taken, currently sitting at 421 and leading the conference by a wide margin. The Roos will need to key in on her scoring prowess but also keep her off the glass as she enters the game averaging a league-high 9.7 rebounds per game.
Keeping Seattle U off the free throw line should be a focal point with the team converting an outstanding 76.5% of their attempts in conference play. Exposing defensive breakdowns will also be imperative for UMKC in the game as the Redhawks have been prone to allowing opponents to put up hefty point totals, surrendering 71.2 points per game overall and 64.7 in league play.
UMKC Roos @ Utah Valley Wolverines
Date: Saturday, February 10
Tipoff: 4:00 p.m. CT
Location: Orem, Utah (UCCU Center)
Series: UMKC trails 7-3
Live Stats: Statbroadcast
Live In-Game Update: @umkcwbb
Scouting the Wolverines
Utah Valley will be looking to turn things around riding a three-game losing streak entering the week. The Wolverines currently sit in sixth place in the WAC with a 3-4 conference record, a half-game behind the Roos.
The team has not been overly effective on the offensive end or in defending opponent shot attempts. Currently, Utah Valley is averaging 61.1 points per game on 35.8% field goal shooting on the year, although these numbers have improved significantly in league play up to 67 points per game and 41.7% field goal shooting.
While Utah Valley as a team has stumbled offensively, senior guard Taylor Christensen has had success in the scoring department and will need to be accounted for. She is averaging 15.5 points per game, sixth-most in the WAC, on an efficient 42.8% field goal shooting rate.
Equal strides have not been made in shot defense however. The Wolverines are allowing opponents to connect on 44.9% of field goal attempts overall and 43.3% WAC competition, both ranking seventh in conference. Additionally, Utah Valley has given up quality looks beyond the arc to conference opposition, resulting in a 36.4% success rate.
The Wolverines make their presence felt in the turnover department and are feasting on forcing a heavy number of miscues while limiting their own. The team sits atop the WAC with 9.7 steals per game in addition to a +3.4 turnover margin.
The Roos will return to Swinney Recreation Center to kick off a three-game home stand with a contest against Chicago State on Saturday, Feb. 17. The game will be broadcast on the WAC Digital Network free of charge and will also have Live Stats available.
– UMKC –