PHILADELPHIA – UMKC held the lead over the Explorers for most of the game, but fell late to La Salle 64-59 on Wednesday afternoon in Philadelphia.
The Roos (5-7) jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead in the early minutes of the matchup before La Salle (8-4) rallied for eight-straight points to grab their first lead of the game. UMKC regained the lead on a jumper from junior Samantha Waldron (Omaha, Neb.) with four minutes remaining in the first period. The two teams would trade the lead five more times before Waldron’s three-pointer in the final seconds of the period gave the Roos a 16-14 lead heading into the second period.
La Salle opened the second period with layup to tie the game on their first trip down the court. Ceidra Coleman (Bryan, Texas) answered back with a layup of her own, before La Salle jumped out to a 23-18 lead. Waldron drained another three-pointer to cap off a nine-point run by UMKC with 3:47 left in the half to give the Roos a 27-23 lead. Lyndsay Leikem (Tucson, Ariz.) made the final basket of the first half for the Roos as they held a 33-30 lead at halftime.
Waldron opened the second half with a three to put UMKC up 36-30. After a La Salle jumper, Leikem came through with a layup to extend the lead back to six points at 38-32. The Explorers were able to cut the lead down to one-point midway through the third period, but a three-pointer from Leikem put the Roos on top 46-41 with just over three minutes left in the period. The period would come to a close with the Roos leading 49-47.
A layup from Waldron put the Roos up 51-47 with eight minutes left in the fourth period. However, La Salle would finish the game outscoring the Roos 17-8, taking the contest 64-59.
“Our effort was certainly there tonight, but you’re going to make it challenging to win on the road sending your opponent to the free throw line as often as we did,” head coach Marsha Frese said. “The third quarter was a back-breaker with nine points just at the line.”
Waldron led the way for UMKC and tied Amy Griffin of La Salle with a game-high 27 points. Waldron also hauled in three rebounds and dished out an assist. The Roos excelled in second chance points, outscoring La Salle 20-11. La Salle outshot UMKC 13-16 to 1-3.
“Samantha Waldron continued to prove why she is an elite player in the WAC,” Frese said. “She is as hard of a kid to guard as I’ve seen in years. She put the team on her back tonight and her effort just fell short down the stretch.”
UMKC will continue their East Coast swing when they travel to Long Island, New York, to face Stony Brook on Saturday at noon CT.
– UMKC –