WICHITA, Kan. – The UMKC women’s basketball team (1-8) was unable to take home a victory in a nonconference road matchup with Wichita State (3-8), falling by a final score of 72-63 in Saturday afternoon’s game.
The trip to Wichita was the first time returning to Charles Koch Arena as a head coach for UMKC’s Jacie Hoyt. Hoyt played for the Wichita State women’s basketball team from 2006-2009 and served as a team captain while starting every game at point guard in her final two seasons for Jane Albright’s squad.
“It was really special for me to be back in Koch Arena,” noted Hoyt. “I have a lot of special memories there and it will always hold a special place in my heart.”
The homecoming did not tipoff according to plan with the Roos getting off to a slow start in the opening minutes. Wichita State set the tone early as they jumped out on a 13-1 run to open the game. UMKC was able to respond, putting a stop to the Shocker run and settling into a rhythm. Kristen Moore (Chicago, Ill.) sparked the Roos with a three-point play, by way of an impressive finish through contact and successful free throw. Moore finished the contest with 20 points, tied for a game-high, on 8-of-10 (80%) shooting and a team-best six rebounds.
Wichita State was able to stretch the lead out to 25-10 on the first possession of the second quarter, their largest lead of the game, but the resilient UMKC squad struck back with a huge answer. A 7-0 run, highlighted by a pair of tough finishes at the rim from India Johnson (Overland Park, Kan.), kept the Roos within striking distance. Johnson scored a season-high 20 points on 9-of-17 (52.9%), matching Moore for the top scoring output in the contest.
The trend of exchanging runs back and forth continued following the second quarter media break. The Shockers matched the UMKC run with a seven-point swing of their own, taking a 32-21 lead into halftime.
The third quarter of action began with a Wichita State possession that missed two shots, but a pair of offensive rebounds led to a put-back under the rim in what wound up as a 40 second possession. Both teams traded buckets until 5:36 mark of the third period with the Shockers holding a 44-30 advantage.
UMKC launched a 16-8 run to the end the quarter, capped off with a three-pointer splashed by Aries Washington (Kansas City, Mo.) as the buzzer sounded, trimming the deficit to 52-46. Johnson also made a significant impact in keeping UMKC alive, dominating on the offensive end with 13 points in the third quarter.
“India Johnson gave us a great scoring spark in the second half,” said Hoyt in regards to the redshirt senior’s performance.
A layup from Kristen Moore to open the fourth quarter trimmed the lead Wichita State lead to four, the smallest margin since the Shockers opened the game 4-0. With heavy momentum on the Roos side, their vigorous comeback ran out of gas as the final period expired. The Shockers stretched the lead to 61-52 at the final media break and UMKC would not strike to within seven points the rest of the way.
“Our team continues to fight and show a tremendous amount of heart,” commented Hoyt. “Our defense was disruptive and helped us get back in the game. When we can pair that with making more shots on the offensive end, we will have a lot of success.”
The Roos fared well in field goal shooting, finishing 25-of-57 (43.9%) as a team but struggled to connect distance, combining to go just 1-of-15 (6.7%) from beyond the arc. Both sides had 17 turnovers in the contest, but Wichita State outrebounded UMKC 38-29.
UMKC returns home to host Harris-Stowe State (5-3) on Monday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. CT before playing a pair of games at Swinney Recreation Center for the Roo Holiday Classic on Dec. 19-20. All three games will be broadcast on the WAC Digital Network free of charge and will have Live Stats available.
– UMKC –