MACOMB, Ill. – UMKC women’s basketball team (0-1) competed in a close game with Western Illinois (1-0) for three quarters but couldn’t keep the pace, falling 90-71 in a tough road matchup.
The Roos came out firing in the season opener, matching the Leathernecks shot for shot in the first half play of play. Both sides traded baskets in the early going, with the largest lead coming at the 7:56 mark of the 2nd quarter, when a Morgan Blumer three-pointer extended the Western Illinois lead to 26-19.
UMKC would answer in a big way, erasing the deficit with an 11-0 run highlighted by a pair of three-pointers from India Johnson (Overland Park, Kan.). Following the run, ending at the 3:46 mark in the 2nd quarter, the game remained tight as the contest reached halftime with the Roos closely trailing 41-38.
“Our kids fought hard for three quarters against a very good team that won their conference and reached the NCAA Tournament last year,” commented head coach Jacie Hoyt. “We had a well-balanced scoring attack that will be tough for opponents to defend moving forward.”
Five UMKC players – Johnson, Samantha Waldron (Omaha, Neb.), Kiana Law (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Kristen Moore (Chicago, Ill.), Aries Washington (Kansas City, Mo.) – finished the game scoring in double figures. Moore led the way with a game-high 22 points on 9-15 shooting from the field, while Law tallied a team-best 12 rebounds and five assists.
The game continued to be highly contested in the third quarter of play with four ties and two lead-changes in the period. Law and Moore combined for 14 points in the quarter to keep UMKC within striking distance. Western Illinois found some separation as the third quarter came to a close, putting together a 7-1 run that pushed the Leathernecks’ lead to 57-51.
The Roos were unable to keep the game within reach in the fourth quarter, as Western Illinois opened the period with a 12-3 run to stretch the lead to 69-54. UMKC continued to battle in attempts to cut into the deficit but would not get to within double digits the rest of the way.
Western Illinois was able to capitalize at the free-throw line throughout the contest, going 21-28 (75%) from the charity stripe. UMKC finished the game shooting 27-64 (42.2%) from the field and 8-24 (33.3%) from beyond the arc.
“I thought our team came out with a strong and aggressive mentality tonight,” said Hoyt. “However, in no way are we satisfied with giving up 90 points on the defensive end.”
UMKC will continue their six-game November road stretch with a game at Nebraska on Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast on Big Ten Network Plus and will have Live Audio coverage available.
– UMKC –