PHOENIX – UMKC played Grand Canyon close for three quarters, but faltered in the final frame as the Roos fell on the road 75-64 on Thursday night.
Graduate student Lyndsay Leikem (Tucson, Ariz.) started the scoring for the Roos (6-13, 1-5 WAC) on their opening possession with a jumper to give UMKC the early lead. The Lopes (11-7, 3-2 WAC) responded with an 8-0 run over the next three minutes to go up 8-2. UMKC battled back and tied the game at 12-12 with just under two minutes left in the first quarter. Junior Aries Washington (Kansas City, Mo.) tied the game at 14-14 on a layup, and gave the Roos a four-point lead with another layup at the end of the first quarter.
The Roos opened up the second quarter scoring with a pair of free throws from redshirt sophomore Kristen Moore (Chicago, Ill.) to extend the Roo lead to 20-14. The Roos saw their biggest lead of the night at 28-20, 30-22 and 32-24, all coming on jumpers from Washington. UMKC maintained the lead until GCU hit a three-pointer in the final seconds of the second quarter, leaving the Roos trailing 40-39 at halftime.
UMKC struck first in the second half and regained the lead on a jumper from Leikem early in the third quarter. The Roos tied the game three more times during the quarter before a three-pointer from junior Daijane Dillard (Los Angeles, Calif.) put the Roos back in front 50-49 with just under two minutes left to play. Grand Canyon regained the lead on the next possession, but Leikem answered back with a jumper to give the Roos a 52-51 lead. GCU scored again with under a minute left in the quarter and led 53-52 heading into the fourth quarter.
Grand Canyon opened the fourth quarter on a 9-2 run and led by as many as 15 throughout the rest of the game. UMKC scored four unanswered points on a pair of layups from Washington to end the game, but ultimately fell 75-64.
“I thought as a team we did some really good things offensively tonight,” head coach Marsha Frese said. “But defensively we had too many possessions that ended with us fouling and that was a game changer tonight.”
Washington recorded game-highs in points with 24 and rebounds with nine. Leikem totaled 14 points and Moore finished with 12.
The Roos head to CSU Bakersfield for another WAC showdown on Saturday, with the tip-off scheduled for 2 p.m. CT.
– UMKC –