SEATTLE, Wash. – A dominant first quarter effort was not enough for the UMKC women’s basketball team (8-16, 4-5 WAC) to pick up a road win at Seattle U (12-11, 6-2 WAC), falling 66-62 in a well-fought effort Thursday night.
UMKC opened the game with a flurry of offense, scoring the first nine points of the game before holding an 18-11 lead at the end of the first quarter. Samantha Waldron (Omaha, Neb.) was electric in the opening 10 minutes, knocking down three shots from beyond the arc including a pair on back to back possessions as the period drew to a close.
Seattle U would not go away quietly, however, as they struck a 12-2 run to claim their first lead of the game at 22-20 midway through the second quarter. After a hot shooting start, UMKC cooled off in the second period as they combined to shoot just 4-of-18 (22.2%) from the field and missed all four attempts from beyond the arc.
After putting a stop to the run, the Roos were able to regain their footing to play even for the remainder of the first half and as the contest hit halftime with Seattle U leading 30-26. Waldron had nine points to lead the team at the break and finished her night with 18 points on an outstanding 5-of-10 shooting from three-point distance.
“We battled hard for 40 minutes,” noted head coach Jacie Hoyt. “We didn’t have an answer for Alexis Montgomery. She put their team on her back and did everything necessary to help them win.”
Montgomery, who entered play as the WAC’s leading scorer, proved to be a difficult matchup. She finished the game with 14 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in a triple-double performance.
Third quarter action remained highly contested with four lead changes and three ties in the period. After Seattle U extended their lead to four points at the 2:18 mark of the third period, UMKC looked poised to strike a major run. A three-pointer from Waldron and a tough finish in traffic from Kiana Law (Pittsburgh, Pa.) on consecutive possessions energized the team and reclaimed the lead near the end of the period.
Law put together a spectacular performance in the contest to keep the Roos at arms-length. She ended the game leading all scorers with 20 points on 45% shooting from the field in addition to grabbing a team-high 11 rebounds and two blocks.
Seattle U shut down the surge, answering with a 10-2 run capped off by an Ashlyn Lewey three-pointer at the 9:17 mark to secure a game-high seven point lead. UMKC refused to lay down, matching the Redhawks with a dominant 11-2 run of their own.
India Johnson (Overland Park, Kan.) was clutch in the late rally, scoring six straight points in guiding the Roos back to a two-point lead with just under six minutes remaining. Johnson filled up the stat sheet, hitting double-figure scoring with 11 points to go pair with six rebounds and three assists.
The hopes of stealing a road win over the second-place Redhawks would eventually run dry as the Roos relinquished their lead on a Madeline Dopplick triple and failed to climb back on top. The game featured six ties and seven lead changes in what was an absolutely gritty effort by the team.
“You have to have a short-term memory whether you win or lose in conference,” commented Hoyt. “We will go back to the drawing board and figure out how to be our best on Saturday.”
The Roos wrap up their west coast road trip with a game at Utah Valley on Saturday, Feb. 10 at 4 p.m. CT. The contest will be broadcast on the WAC Digital Network free of charge.
– UMKC –