KANSAS CITY, Mo. – India Johnson’s (Overland Park, Kan.) near half-court heave sealed the victory for UMKC over Utah Valley on Saturday afternoon at Swinney Rec, as the Roos picked up their first WAC win of the season.
Utah Valley (6-12, 1-2 WAC) jumped out to an early 7-2 lead, before a jumper from junior guard Aries Washington (Kansas City, Mo.) jumpstarted an 11-2 run for the Roos. Utah Valley retook the lead and led 17-15 at the end of the first quarter.
The Wolverines opened the second quarter on a 5-1 run and saw their biggest lead of the game at 22-16 in the opening minute of the second quarter. Utah Valley held UMKC (6-11, 1-3 WAC) at bay for the first half of the second quarter, but the Roo defense was able to hold the Wolverines scoreless over the last five-plus minutes of the half. A pair of free throws from redshirt-sophomore Kristen Moore (Chicago, Ill.) began a 12-0 run that was capped off by layup from Washington, as the Roos went into the break up 35-27.
The Wolverines started the third quarter on a 6-1 run and cut the Roo lead to 36-35. A pair of layups from junior guard Samantha Waldron (Omaha, Neb.) and graduate forward Lyndsay Leikem (Tuscan, Ariz.) extended the lead for the Roos, but Utah Valley once again cut the lead to one at 40-39. The Roos were able to pull away late in the quarter and led 49-44 heading into the fourth.
The Wolverines battled back and retook the lead with 3:41 left in the fourth quarter, but a layup by Moore put the Roos back on top 58-57. A Utah Valley free-throw tied the game at 63-63 with just over a minute left to play. On the final possession of the game, Waldron missed a three-pointer, but Leikem was able to grab the rebound and throw it out of the crowded post and into the hands of Johnson near the half-court line. Johnson then banked in the desperation shot giving UMKC the win.
“Super excited to get the win,” head coach Marsha Frese said. “Obviously in conference play every game matters. I thought our second quarter was one of the best defensive quarters we’ve played all season. I thought Kristen Moore did a phenomenal job this week of setting the tone for how aggressive we need to be. She’s really stepped up in conference play, which is what big-time players do.”
Moore led the way in scoring with 19 points, and in rebounds with seven. Waldron scored 17 points, Washington scored 13 and Johnson scored 10.
The Roos will be back in action on Jan. 21 when they host New Mexico State at 2 p.m.
– UMKC –