KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC women’s basketball team (10-18, 6-7 WAC) battled hard for a full 40 minutes against New Mexico State (16-11, 10-3 WAC) but would ultimately fall by a final score of 76-67.
The game was the last home contest of the 2017-18 season and served as Senior Day for the seven Roos who will finish their UMKC careers at year’s end. The group of seven student athletes – Samantha Waldron (Omaha, Neb.), Aries Washington (Kansas City, Mo.), Kiana Law (Pittsburgh, Pa.), India Johnson (Overland Park, Kan.), Paige Husa (Fairbury, Neb.), Daijane Dillard (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Sierra Bone – have each made significant contributions to the growth of the program during their time on campus.
In the final home game of her career, Washington was determined to make it one to remember. The senior guard led the Roos with 10 points at the end of the first quarter and 21 points at half to lead all scorers. She would continue to carry the squad in the second half, finishing her day with a new career-high 31 points on 10-of-19 shooting from the field and 5-of-10 three-point shooting to pair with four rebounds and two assists.
Both sides matched each other shot for shot throughout the entire four quarters of play, finishing with nine ties and nine lead changes in total. The largest lead of the first half came on a Waldron three-pointer, one of her four triples on the day, giving the Roos a 38-33 lead with just over a minute to play in the second period.
Waldron also put together a strong performance in her last game at Swinney Recreation Center, finishing with 14 points, five rebounds a season-high five steals. New Mexico State on a 5-1 run in the final minute of the second quarter, cutting the UMKC advantage to 39-38 at the half.
The Roos came out firing to open the second half, sparking a 9-2 run in just under five minutes of game clock to start the third quarter. The stretch, capped off by a Kristen Moore (Chicago, Ill.) free throw, gave UMKC their largest lead of the game at 48-40. Moore put together a terrific performance in the post, joining Washington and Waldron in double-figures scoring with 15 points and grabbed six rebounds, three of which came on the offensive end.
Just as it looked like UMKC was poised to put the game away, New Mexico State clawed back in the minutes leading up to the final period of play. The Aggies finished the third quarter on a 14-7 run, during which they briefly reclaimed the lead, to end the period trailing 55-54.
The fourth quarter of play was a heated duel as both teams intensely fought to come away with a tough victory. After tie games at the 7:06, 5:52, 4:30 and 3:48 marks of the final frame, UMKC was unable to slow down their hot-shooting opponent as New Mexico State closed the game on an 11-2 run, shooting 53.8% from the field in the fourth quarter.
UMKC finished the contest shooting 37.7% from the field and 33.3% from three-point distance. Dillard and Law also put together notable stat lines in their final home games, as Dillard dished out a game-high six assists while Law grabbed a team-best seven rebounds.
The Roos will wrap up the 2017-18 regular season next weekend with a road contest at Chicago State on Saturday, Mar. 3. The game is set for 1 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on the WAC Digital Network free of charge.
– UMKC –