CHICAGO, Ill. – The UMKC women’s basketball team (11-18, 7-7 WAC) finished up their 2017-18 regular season with a 59-47 victory on the road at Chicago State (1-28, 1-13 WAC) on Saturday afternoon.
The win was the seventh Western Athletic Conference (WAC) victory of the season for first year head coach Jacie Hoyt’s squad, matching the highest conference win total since the program’s first year in the league in 2013-14. Coach Hoyt achieved the total in two less games than the 2013-14 team with a 16 game WAC schedule.
UMKC got off to a rather sluggish start in the finale, connecting on just one of their first eight field goal attempts in the opening five minutes of action. With the Roos staring down a 15-11 deficit with just over two minutes left in the first quarter, the team sparked a 12-0 run that spanned into the second period to claim a double-digit advantage.
After the lead was trimmed to 23-19 midway through the second quarter, UMKC would put together another dominant stretch to close out the first half. An 11-2 run, including six points from Kristen Moore (Chicago, Ill.), sent the team into halftime with a comfortable 34-21 advantage. Moore put on another impressive performance in the game, finishing with 12 points and four rebounds along with knocking down 4-of-5 free throw attempts.
Chicago State opened up second half action with back to back buckets to close within single digits but the Roos quickly regathered to shut down the comeback. Samantha Waldron (Omaha, Neb.) scored four points quickly in the midst of an 8-0 UMKC run for a game-large 17 point lead at the 4:11 mark of the third quarter. Waldron ended her day with a solid stat line of 15 points, seven rebounds, two assists and a pair of steals.
A tough shooting day that saw the team shoot 36.5% from the field and 23.5% from three-point distance prevented the Roos from widening their advantage, but the outcome never came into jeopardy with Chicago State failing to come within eight points the rest of the way. Aries Washington (Kansas City, Mo.) led the charge in the fourth quarter of play with six points in the period as the team closed out the contest with a 59-47 road win.
Washington joined Waldron and Moore in double-figures scoring in the game, finishing with a game-high 18 points along with three rebounds and two steals. Daijane Dillard (Los Angeles, Calif.) also put together a notable performance, grabbing a career-high 10 rebounds to pair with a game-high four assists in the matchup.
“This was a key game for us to finish off the season with a win and go into our conference tournament with some positive momentum,” commented Hoyt. “I’m very proud of the season our team has put together for themselves. They have a lot to be proud of and we want to make it last as long as possible.”
UMKC will be back in action in the first round of the WAC Tournament that is set to begin Wednesday, Mar. 7. Today’s win secured the fifth seed in the tournament for the team and is set to square off with either Grand Canyon or Seattle U in round one.
– UMKC –