BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – The UMKC women’s basketball team (6-13, 2-2 WAC) saw another fourth quarter lead vanish on the road at CSU Bakersfield (8-10, 2-2 WAC) but used a late comeback to grab a 60-58 win in Thursday night’s game.
The Roos got off to a hot-shooting start from three-point distance, knocking down four shots from beyond the arc in the first period of action. Daijane Dillard (Los Angeles, Calif.) was absolutely locked in, connecting on all three of her three-point attempts in the first quarter.
Dillard’s made basket from beyond the arc as the first period came to a close capped a 16-5 run, giving UMKC a 23-13 lead heading into the second quarter. The senior guard was a major factor in igniting the offense early on and finished the game with a season-high 10 points to pair with three assists.
UMKC would hold an advantage over the entire second period of action and a Samantha Waldron (Omaha, Neb.) three-pointer extended the team’s lead to a 12-point margin, the largest of the night, with just over three minutes to play in the first half. Waldron continued to give the team offensive production throughout the game, totaling 15 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field and a tied for game-high six rebounds.
While UMKC would remain on top, the double-digit lead would not hold as the second quarter drew to a close. CSU Bakersfield jumped on a 6-0 run to close the half, cutting the Roos’ lead to 35-29.
Both sides shot the ball particularly well in the tightly-contested first half. UMKC connected on 13-of-27 (48.1%) field goal attempts while shooting 5-of-9 (55.6%) from three-point distance. The Roadrunners matched the totals in shooting 11-of-22 (50%) from the field and 5-of-11 (45.5%) from beyond the arc.
CSU Bakersfield sparked a 15-2 run covering seven minutes of third and fourth quarter action to take control of the game. The lead change marked the third consecutive game in which the Roos saw a fourth quarter lead slip away.
Despite seeing another late advantage vanish, UMKC showed the impressive resiliency that they have put on display throughout the season. Staring down a 52-46 deficit with 5:36 remaining in the game, Aries Washington (Kansas City, Mo.) scored seven points in just over two minutes of game action, capped off by a three-pointer at the 2:03 mark to bring the Roos within two points.
A massive defensive stop at the other end following the Washington triple gave UMKC a chance to tie or take the lead. The possession seemed to be over after a missed shot from Dillard but India Johnson (Overland Park, Kan.) came up with a fabulous play to save the Roos.
Johnson pulled down the offensive rebound, the biggest of her tied for game-high six, and followed up with a jumper to tie the game at 56-56 with 1:10 remaining in the fourth quarter. The senior guard finished the contest with 15 points, tied for a game-best, on an efficient 7-of-12 (58.3%) shooting from the field. The team’s work on the glass was one of the biggest positives for the Roos in the matchup, outrebounding a very solid CSU Bakersfield team 31-27 in the game.
“We knew rebounding would be key against a very athletic Bakersfield team,” noted head coach Jacie Hoyt. “To outrebound them was huge.”
UMKC would come up with yet another monumental stop on a missed layup by Aja Wilson early in the possession. With the ball and one minute left on the clock, Waldron would draw a pivotal foul on CSU Bakersfield with the shot clock winding down. A pair of clutch free throws put the Roos on top 58-56.
Following a made layup by the Roadrunners with 22 seconds remaining, UMKC played for the final shot and it was Johnson who once again came through with late-game heroics. With just two seconds remaining, she used a screen at the top of the key and dropped in a floater in the lane to seal a massive conference win on the road.
“Any time you can win on the road, especially in conference, it’s something to be proud of,” commented Hoyt. “Our team faced a lot of adversity that they fought through to pull out the win. We had players step up and make big plays when they were needed.”
– UMKC –