The Kansas City women's basketball team (9-19, 5-10) will conclude its regular season schedule when it heads north to take on Omaha (16-11, 6-9) on Saturday afternoon. The game between the Kangaroos and the Mavericks is slated for a 2 p.m. tip at Sapp Fieldhouse.
The Mavericks enter the contest with a 16-11 record overall and a 6-9 mark in Summit League play after dropping their last four contest. On the season, two Mavs are averaging double figures including Paige Frauendorfer (14.8), Carolyn Blair-Mobley (11.3), while Jamie Nash (9.3) and Ericka House (9.1) are each above nine ppg. On the glass, Frauendorfer tops the team with 8.2 rpg, while Nash's 6.7 apg are a league best.
Kansas City leads the all-time series 3-2, winning three out of four contests in Kansas City. Last season was the first meeting between the two schools since 1987, with the 'Roos wining 74-64 on Jan. 11 at the SRC. On Dec. 28 of this season, the Mavericks outlasted the 'Roos 61-44 at the SRC.
Coaching Match up
Renowned for her top-notch recruiting classes, Marsha Frese enters her first season as head women's basketball coach at UMKC. Named as the Kangaroo head coach on April 25, 2012, Frese brings 15 seasons of experience as a Division-I player and coach to the UMKC campus. Prior to UMKC, Frese served as the associate head coach at Northern Illinois and Illinois, while serving as an assistant at Ball State, Maryland and Minnesota during her career.
Chance Lindley became the seventh head coach in UNO women's basketball history and the first male to lead the women's program in its 40-year history on April 16, 2011. Under Lindley, the Mavs' first year in Division I in 2011-12 was a success on many accounts. A year after going 8-18 in Division II under then-head coach Patty Patton Shearer, the Mavs finished 15-12 in their first season under Lindley, the most wins since 2008-09. UNO earned two wins against Division I teams, beating Western Illinois, 65-58, and UT-Arlington, 60-52. The Mavs went 9-3 at home for a .750 winning percentage, their highest since 2005-06.
Last Time Out
The Kansas City women's basketball team fell 47-33 to IUPUI in a defensive battle on Saturday afternoon's Senior Day at the Swinney Recreation Center. The Kangaroos, who honored seniors Emile Blakesley and Kim Nezianya in their final home game as 'Roos, fall to 9-19 on the season and 5-10 in Summit League play, while IUPUI improves to 17-10 overall and 10-4 in the league.
Offensively, junior Eilise O'Connor was the only 'Roo to reach double figures, scoring 10 points and grabbing four rebounds, while fellow junior Hailey Houser added seven points and a team-high six caroms.
Defensively, Kansas City limited the Jaguars to just 47 points, the lowest opponent point total of the season, while limiting IUPUI to just 31.9 percent shooting from the field, including 27.8 percent from three-point range.
Entering the final Saturday of the season, the top four seeds are locked in place with South Dakota State, IUPUI, South Dakota and Fort Wayne ranking 1-4. Oakland, meanwhile, will enter the tournament as the eighth seed. For the 'Roos, if they finish 6-10 and in a three way tie with North Dakota State and Western Illinois or tied with Western Illinois, they will be the sixth seed and face South Dakota. If they finish tied with North Dakota State, they will be the seventh seed and face IUPUI.
Buckling Down on D
Over the first 15 games of the season, the 'Roos gave up an average of 70.4 ppg, while they allowed opponents to shoot 44.1% from the field and 41.6% from three-point range, only held two opponents under 60 points and went 4-15. In the last 13 games, however, Kansas City has allowed only 55.9 ppg, while teams have shot just 37.0% overall and 26.4% from three-point range, nine have been held under 60 points with a high of 67 scored and the went 5-8. Over the time frames, the 'Roos have cut down opponents rebounds from 40.7 rpg to 32.8 rpg.
Winning The Tight Ones
On the season, the 'Roos hold a 5-3 record in games decided by five points our less, picking up wins over North Dakota State, Western Illinois, South Dakota, LIU Brooklyn and Saint Louis.
Climbing the Scoring Charts
Junior guard Eilise O'Connor has scored 472 points this season, the ninth most in school history, and now has 1,115 in her career, placing her ninth all-time in school history. Her 12.4 ppg, meanwhile, are 10th best in school history.
Eilise O'Connor recently passed the 1,000 point mark in school history, and is now the 11th player in school history to top 1,000 points.
Freshman Taylor Leathers has posted two double-doubles this season, on Dec. 28 against Omaha with 10 points and 12 rebounds and Jan. 12 against South Dakota with 12 points and 10 rebounds, tied for the team lead with senior Kim Nezianya. Nezianya recorded her double-doubles against SEMO with 23 points and 11 rebounds and at VCU with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Eilise O'Connor, meanwhile, has one, versus Boise State with 23 points and 13 assists.
O'Connor At The Line
- Made 17-of-18 free throws vs. Fort Wayne on Jan. 19
• UMKC record for FT's in a game
• 94.4% ranks 19th in NCAA (best among 1 miss)
• tied for most FT's in NCAA this season
• Ranks 1st in Summit League at 87.9%
• Ranks 14th in NCAA at 87.9%
• 174 FT's are UMKC single season record
• 174 FT's are 3rd most in Summit League history in a single season record
• 357 career FT's are tied for most in UMKC history
• 357 career FT's are 14th in Summit League history
'Roos In The Community
This season, the 'Roos have spent time in the community, including volunteering at Morning Glory Cafe, the local soup kitchen, and holding clinics for youth interested in basketball. The he squad also went to Bentwood Elementary to promote reading to the students.
Dishing It Out
This season, Eilise O'Connor has eclipsed the 300 assist mark and now sits fourth in school history with 337. This season, she has recorded the 12th most assists in a game in the NCAA when she handed out 13 on Dec. 1 against Boise State. 20 times she has led the team and currently ranks fourth in The Summit League at 3.7.
This season, one player as started all 28 games for the 'Roos: Emile Blakesley. To date, the senior leads the team in steals, while ranking second in assists and minutes played.
Going the Distance
On the season, junior point guard Eilise O'Connor has played all 40 minutes of the game in 16 contests; Nov. 9 vs. Missouri Western State, Nov. 15 vs. Saint Louis, Nov. 30 at Air Force, Dec. 7 at Minnesota, Dec. 19 at Texas Southern, Dec. 21 at New Mexico State, Jan. 3 at South Dakota State, Jan. 17 vs. Oakland, Jan. 19 vs., Fort Wayne, Jan. 24 at IUPUI, Jan. 26 at Western Illinois, Jan. 31 vs. North Dakota State, Feb. 2 vs. South Dakota State, Feb. 14 at Fort Wayne, Feb. 16 at Oakland and Feb. 23 vs. IUPUI. Overall, the San Francisco native is averaging 37.7 minutes per game.
O'Connor and Nezianya Nab Back-to-Back POW Honors
Eilise O'Connor was named The Summit League Player of the Week on Dec. 3 after averaging 26.5 points, 10 assists, five rebounds and 1.5 steals per game with a 2.9 assist/turnover ratio. She also shot 52 percent (15-of-29) from the floor, including 89 percent (8-of-9) from long-range.
Kim Nezianya,meanwhile, garnered the honor on Nov. 26 after averaging 14.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals per contest while shooting 44 percent (18-of-41) from the field, 40 percent (2-of-5) from behind the arc and 71 percent (5-of-7) at the line.
Blakesley Earns 'Roos Third POW Honor
Kansas City women's basketball senior guard Emile Blakesley was named The Summit League Player of the Week after recording a career-high 16 points against Eastern Michigan after entering the contest averaging just 1.9 ppg. She also added career-highs of five rebounds, four assists, four steals, five field goals and four 3-pointers made. Blakesley shot 71 percent (5-of-7) from the field, 67 percent (4-of-6) from downtown and was a perfect 2-for-2 from the free throw line.
O'Connor Grabs Back-To-Back POW Honors
Eilise O'Connor earned her second Player of the Week award this season after scoring a career-high 34 points in a win over Fort Wayne. In addition to her 34 points, she grabbed seven rebounds and connected on a school record 17 free throws. She scored 26 points with eight rebounds and three steals against Oakland. For the week, O'Connor averaged 30 points, 7.5 rebounds, two steals and one assist per game. She went 26-of-27 (.963) from the free throw line and 16-of-31 (.516) from the field in the two contests.
The following week, in the one-point loss at IUPUI, the junior guard scored 24 points, grabbed five rebounds with three assists and two steals. She also shot 53 percent (8-of-15) from the field and set the school record for free throws made in a season. O'Connor tallied 20 points and pulled down nine rebounds in the win at Western Illinois. The San Francisco, Calif., native has a streak of 22-straight free throws made and has connected on 39 of her last 40 at the charity stripe. For the week, O'Connor averaged 22 points, seven rebounds, 2.5 assists and two steals per game. She was perfect at the line (11-of-11) and shot 44 percent (15-of-34) from the field and 75 percent (3-of-4) from behind the arc.
Nezianya and O'Connor Named All-Tournament
Senior Kim Nezianya was named to the LIU Turkey Classic All-Tournament Team after averaging 16.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.0 apg and 2.0 spg., while shooting 50.0% from three-point range. Eilise O'Connor, meanwhile, captured her second career all-tournament team honor after being named to the Air Force Classic All-Tournament Team with averages of 26.5 points, 10.0 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals, while hitting 8-of-9 from three-point range in the win over Air Force and the loss to Boise State.
Junior Center Ashli Hill has made her mark on the defensive end of the court for the 'Roos, as the Lawrence, Kan., native currently ranks 59th in the nation and second in The Summit League in blocked shots at 1.7 per game, while the 'Roos as a team are third in the league at 3.4 bpg. Her 189 career blocks, meanwhile, rank second in school history and 11th in league history.
Kansas City head coach Marsha Frese comes from a strong coaching family as her sister, Brenda Frese, serves as the head coach at the University of Maryland. Since her first season at the helm when the team won just 10 games, Frese has guided Maryland to a National Championship in 2006, nine winning seasons, eight-straight 20-win seasons, four 30-win campaigns and eight trips to the NCAA Tournament. In 2006-07, Maryland also received its first-ever No. 1 preseason national ranking, remaining in the top spot in the polls for 10-consecutive weeks.
Summit League Ranks
Lexis Hardiek is fourth in 3-pt.% (40.0), while Eilise O'Connor is second in scoring (17.5), first in FT% (87.9) and fourth in assists (3.7). Defensively, Ashli Hill ranks second in blocks (1.7) and Hailey Houser is eighth (0.8).
Kansas City Record Book
Several members of the current Kansas City women's basketball team have already placed their names in the school's record book. Senior Kim Nezianya is currently fifth all-time in rebounds with 639 in her career and ninth in three-point percentage at .354. Junior Ashli Hill, meanwhile, is second all-time in blocks with 189. Junior Eilise O'Connor, the final 'Roo, is tied for first in free throws made (357), fourth in free throw percentage (.817), ninth in points (1,115), 10th in points per game (12.4) and fourth in assists (337) in her career. Her 174 made free throws this season, meanwhile, are a school record.
The UMKC women's basketball program picked up its 300th win with its 69-64 win over Southeast Missouri State on Nov. 12.
Future 'Roos in the Fold
Head Coach Marsha Frese and the Kansas City women's basketball team added three future 'Roos to the mix during the early signing period with the addition of 5-7 point guard Calli White, 6-0 forward Taylor Strickland and 6-1 forward Grace Mitchell. The trio will represent the first signing class under Frese. White and Strickland join the 'Roos as all-state performers out of Arkansas where they are teammates on Team Arkansas AAU team, while Mitchell comes from Plano, Texas and was her team's MVP a season ago.
Senior forward Kim Nezianya and junior guard Eilise O'Connor were named as the Team Captains in a vote by the team's players and coaches. The players were selected after members of the team went through an evaluation process with their teammates and coaches.
'Roos Tabbed Second in Summit League Preseason Poll
The Kansas City women's basketball team was picked to finish second in The Summit League this season in a vote by the league head coaches, SID's and media.
School (1st place votes) Points
1. South Dakota State (22) 330
2. Kansas City (1) 260
3. Oakland 234
O'Connor and Nezianya Honored by the League
Senior forward Kim Nezianya and junior guard Eilise O'Connor were each selected to the Preseason First Team All-Summit League. Kansas City teammates Nezianya, an all-tournament team honoree last season, and O'Connor, and Honorable Mention All-League selection, represent the only teammates on the First Team after helping the Kangaroos to just their second appearance all-time in the championship game last year.
College Sports Madness Recognizes a Trio of 'Roos
Kansas City women's basketball junior Eilise O'Connor was named to the preseason First Team All-Summit League, while senior Kim Nezianya and junior Ashli Hill were each named to the Second Team according to College Sports Madness.
Rockin' 'Roo Talent Show
The women's basketball team walked away the winners of the third annual Rockin' Roo Talent Show on April 12. This year's event was held at the Student Union Theater on the UMKC campus and consisted of celebrity judges evaluating nine teams and their acts in front of a crowd of 300.
Cousins on the Roster
The UMKC roster will feature cousins Kelsey Barnwell and Lauren Dudding this season after the duo each decided to join the 'Roos out of separate states. Barnwell comes to the squad out of Kansas, Okla., while Dudding is a Lubbock, Texas, native. Junior Eilise O'Connor, meanwhile, enters her third season in the Blue & Gold after becoming familiar with the school thanks to her cousin and UMKC Hall of Famer Katie Houlehan.
This season, senior Emile Blakesley and junior Kara Lee are reunited on the court after spending the 2010-11 season as teammates at Hutchinson Community College. That year, the duo helped the Blue Dragons to 29-4 record, a conference championship and a spot in the NJCAA Region VI Semifinals.
Nezianya on the Glass
Senior forward Kim Nezianya entered the 2012-13 season as the leading active rebounder in The Summit League with 592. After leading the Kangaroos in rebounding in each of her first three seasons, along with her 47 rebounds this season, the Carrollton, Texas, native now has 639 in her career, fifth most in school history.
Swinney Recreation Center
The home of UMKC Athletics, the Swinney Recreation Center houses the Kangaroo administration, coaches and student-athletes. The Dutton Brookfield Strength and Conditioning Center, the Victor F. Swyden Athletics Training Facility and the Student-Athlete Support Services Office also are located in the facility. Over the past three seasons, the facility has received a major face-lift including upgraded bleachers and a new floor installed this past summer.
2012 Kansas City Women's Basketball Team Accomplishments
- 22 win is the 2nd most in school history and only second 20 win season
- 6 road wins is most in school history
- 12 home wins is 3rd most in school history
- 4 neutral court wins is the most in school history
- Advanced to WNIT for 1st time in history
- Played in Summit League Tournament Championship Game for the 2nd time in school history
- Defeated three RPI top-100 teams
- Led The Summit League in off. rebound % (.357) and off. rebounding (14.3)
- Had five comeback wins when trailing by double-digits
In 2012-13, the Kangaroo roster will feature five newcomers, including four freshman who will see plenty of action with just 12 players on the roster. This year's club welcomes in junior college transfer Kara Lee, along with freshman Taylor Leathers, Jordan Evans, Lauren Dudding and Kelsey Barnwell.
The 2012-13 Kansas City women's basketball coaching staff returns four members from last season's staff, while adding one new assistant coach. Associate head coach Bruce Erickson enters his fourth season with the program, while assistant coach Meredith Doyle enters her third year at UMKC. Jessica Trahan, meanwhile, enters her fifth season as the Director of Basketball Operations with the program, while Liz Sowers is in her second year as a graduate assistant coach after serving as a graduate manager. Danielle Gratton is the final member of the staff, serving as the squad's other assistant in her first season.
'Roos In The Classroom
Last season, eight 'Roos were named to The Summit League Academic All-League team, Kaycie Boyles, Sydney Crimmins, Brianna Eldridge, Dayon Hall-Jones, Lexis Hardiek, Kelsey Knoche, Kim Nezianya and Eilise O'Connor. In order to be named to academic all-league team, each student-athlete must post a GPA of 3.0 or higher in the semester in which they compete. Additionally, Boyles, Crimmins, Hardiek, Knoche and O'Connor were each named a Distinguished Scholar for posting a GPA above 3.6.
Meanwhile, Boyles, Eldridge, Hall-Jones, Hailey Houser, Knoche, Nezianya and O'Connor, were named to the Commissioner's List of Academic Excellence for posting a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.
Women's Hoops To Be Aired On KCWJ 1030 AM The Light & Hot Talk 1510 AM
Kangaroo fans will now have the opportunity to follow the UMKC women's basketball both home and away this season. During the 2012-13 campaign, all 32 Kangaroo women's basketball games will be broadcast on the radio on KCWJ 1030 AM The Light and Hot Talk 1510 AM. T.J. Jackson will call all the play-by-play action for the 'Roos for the seventh straight season.
KSMO, meanwhile, will broadcast two TV games this season, including Nov. 8 against Colorado and Dec. 28 against Omaha.