LAWRENCE, Kan. – The UMKC women’s basketball team (0-6) battled hard through four quarters of play against Kansas (6-0), but was unable to pull off a road win, falling by a 63-48 final score.
The Roos got off to a slow start against a Jayhawks team riding a five-game winning streak to open the year on their home court. Kansas opened the game on a 12-2 run, with five points in the stretch registered by the team’s leading scorer Kylee Kopatich. Despite a couple of early buckets, UMKC did a terrific job of shutting down Kopatich, holding her to just nine points in the first single-digit scoring total of the season.
“She’s a great player when she gets in a rhythm and we did a good job of disrupting her,” noted head coach Jacie Hoyt on Kopatich. “We came in with a plan that we weren’t going to let her beat us and our kids did a great job of executing that. They had other players step up and make shots when they needed them to.”
UMKC refused to pack it in, matching the Jayhawks shot for shot the rest of the first half. Aries Washington (Kansas City, Mo.) carried the Roos in the opening two quarters, pouring in 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including a layup converted through multiple defenders as the first quarter clock expired.
She would beat the buzzer once more as she knocked down a deep three-pointer just before half. Washington finished the contest with 15 points and six rebounds, marking her sixth consecutive game in double figure scoring.
The rest of the UMKC team struggled to heat up, as the Roos combined to shoot 9-of-30 (30%) from the field and 2-of-10 (20%) from three-point range in the first half. Strong defensive effort and intensity from the Roos kept the game within reach as the game entered halftime with the Jayhawks leading 35-24.
Both sides continued to trade baskets in the second half of action as UMKC continued to try cracking into the deficit. Similarly to the previous few games, the Roos employed a heavy dose of full-court pressure in the second half that was again successful. UMKC forced 18 turnovers in the contest, the fourth straight game the team has generated 15 or more opponent turnovers.
Kristen Moore (Chicago, Ill.) put together a terrific second half for the Roos and made a number of shots in critical stages to pull momentum away from Kansas. Moore scored 12 of her 18 total points in the second half and also pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds. The double-double was Moore’s and the team’s first of the season and marked a season-high in both statistics for the redshirt junior forward.
The Roos had two possessions in the fourth quarter with chances to trim the Kansas lead to single digits but were unable to convert. UMKC worked into a numerous quality scoring looks but ultimately wouldn’t fall in the midst of a great defensive effort.
“At the end of the day we had a lot of open shots and those are shots that you have to make at this level,” commented Hoyt. “Overall, I can’t say enough about how proud I am of this team in the way they continued to fight and execute on the defensive end. We played an extremely difficult schedule against very talented teams on the road so we are definitely excited to get back home and play in front of our fans.”
UMKC will now return to Swinney Recreation to host their 2017-18 home opener against Lincoln University on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 5 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast free of charge of on the WAC Digital Network and will have Live Stats available.
– UMKC –