Late Free Throws Lift 'Roos to 56-53 Victory Over Billikens
UMKC Athletics 11-15-2012
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(Kansas City, Mo.) - Junior Hailey Houser hit a go-ahead free throw with 21 seconds on the clock and the score tied at 53-53 to give the Kansas City Women's basketball team (2-1) a one point lead before coming up with a steal on the final Saint Louis (0-2) possession to send the Kangaroos to a 56-53 victory on Thursday night at the Swinney Recreation Center.

Junior Eilise O'Connor buried a pair of free throw to seal the game and give her a game-high 23 points, to go along with five rebounds, four steals and three assists, while committing just one turnover in her 40 minutes of action.

In the first half, the 'Roos fell behind early, giving up the first five points of the game.

Saint Louis would build its lead to as many as six in the first half, including at 21-15 with just over six minutes left in the half.

Kansas City, though, would close the margin to two at 27-25 heading into the break after a three from senior Emile Blakesley with less than 10 seconds on the clock.

Coming out of the break, the 'Roos took their first lead of the game when O'Connor buried a three from the corner and quickly extended the margin to three on a pair of Houser free throws.

Saint Louis would answer with 14 of the next 21 points to retake the lead, but the Kangaroos matched the Billiken run with a 12-4 rally of their own, capped by an Ashli Hill layup, to take a 53-49 advantage with just over three minutes remaining in the contest

The next two field goals went Saint Louis' way, tying the game for the fifth time at 53-53, before the free throws by Houser and O'Connor sent the 'Roos to their second straight victory.

As a team, the 'Roos forced 23 Billiken turnovers, including 14 on steals, scoring 18 points off the turnovers.

Individually, Hill finished with eight points on 4-of-5 shooting, while senior Kim Nezianya notched six points and four steals.

Houser, meanwhile, recorded six points, three rebounds and three blocks, while sophomore Lexis Hardiek was 2-of-3 from beyond the arc for six points off the bench.

The Blue & Gold will return to action on Sunday when the welcome in Pac-12 foe Colorado for a 1:05 p.m. tip at the Swinney Recreation Center.
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