LAS VEGAS – (post-game press conference) The No. 4 seed UMKC women’s basketball (16-15) had No. 1 seed New Mexico State (25-6) on the ropes, but came up short in the 91-80 overtime loss in a Western Athletic Conference (WAC) tournament semifinal contest Friday from the Orleans Arena. UMKC landed success at a level not seen in almost a decade. The 16 season wins is the most since the 2011-12 Roos program went 22-12 overall.
WAC First Teamer junior Ericka Mattingly smashed the single-game UMKC record for points in postseason history (since 1995). Mattingly finished with 37 points on 13 of 26 shooting, including 5 of 11 from deep. She made clutch shot after clutch shot for the Roos. She added 10 rebounds for her sixth point, rebound double-double of the year. The previous tournament record was held by Chazny Morris, who had 30 against North Dakota State on March 7, 2010 in the Summit League tournament. The all-time single game UMKC high was 46 points by Whitney Beckett vs Grand View on Nov. 25, 1986.
UMKC second-year head coach Jacie Hoyt had this to say about Mattingly’s game and the team’s offensive success.
“It (the offense) starts with Ericka Mattingly. As she goes, we go. And she went today…. 37 points. Her performance today was just special. I feel very thankful and grateful that I got to witness that today. She really just propelled us and our young players get so much confidence from her confidence. So really it starts and ends with Ericka.”
The game was nothing short of a heavy-weight battle that was an extension of two previous regular-season meetings between the programs that saw a pair of single-digit wins by New Mexico State. There were 18 ties and 14 different lead changes throughout a game that saw the No. 1 and No. 2 leading scorers in the WAC go at it.
With the score tied at 75-75 in regulation, UMKC had possession with 31 seconds remaining. After a Roo timeout, Mattingly was not able to convert on two attempts inside the paint as multiple defenders surrounded her. Once the game got into overtime, the New Mexico State offense never skipped a beat, out-scoring the Blue and Gold 16-5 in the extra period.
“I just love my team, I love the way we fought and battled today,” said Hoyt about the semifinal match-up. “This one obviously hurts really badly. But I always challenge our team to empty the tank and I believe that we emptied the tank. But we just didn’t quite have enough to get us through overtime. I thought that our lack of experience in these situations was very evident.
“New Mexico State is just a great team that has a bunch of players who have been in that situation before. And I thought that that showed. But at the end of the day, all I can really say is I love going to war with my team and I’m really proud of how we battled today.”
In the first quarter, neither team led by more than four points. UMKC freshman sharp shooter Emily Ivory beat the first-quarter horn with her three-pointer and at that juncture, the Roos were up 23-19. The second quarter was much of the same as the first, going back-and-forth with no team getting any breathing room. The score was dead-locked at 37-37 heading into the locker room.
After a third quarter that saw the teams match each other for points (23) and the score tied 60-60, New Mexico State grabbed a 73-68 lead with 2:46 left on a jumper from Adenike Aderinto. Mattingly hit a basket and a put-back from freshman Leilah Vigil cut the deficit to 73-32. Gia Pack put NMSU back up by three, before Mattingly canned a three-pointer to tie the score at 75-75 with a minute left.
But, New Mexico State owned the overtime period thanks in large part to numerous players having postseason experience. The Aggies won three-straight tournament titles from 2015-17.
Lone Roo senior Kristen Moore played in her final contest. She posted 14 points and two steals in 41 minutes. Vigil claimed her 14th double-double of the year with 10 points and 13 boards.
As a team, the Roos dominated the rebounding efforts with 46 overall, compared to 31 rebounds by New Mexico State. The Aggies shot the ball well going 34 of 69 (49.3%) from the floor, while the Roos were 31 of 75 (41.3%).
Pack ended her day with 36 points on 12 of 22 shooting for the Aggies. She made 9 of 11 from the foul line. WAC Player of the Year Brooke Salas had 12 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
#WACvegas tournament quick-hitters
- The Roos appeared in their second-ever WAC semifinal game today (since 2014). In 2017, UMKC lost to New Mexico State, 71-63, in the round of four.
- New Mexico State extended their win streak to 15-straight games.
- The No. 4 seed is the highest all-time for the Roos in the WAC tournament.
- After the loss today, UMKC fell to 2-6 all-time in the WAC tournament, since becoming league members in 2013-14.
- In postseason conference tournament history dating back to 1995 (members in Mid-Continent, Summit League, WAC), the Roos are now 2-5 all-time in semifinal games. The wins came during the 2005 Mid-Continent Conference semifinal and the 2012 Summit League semifinal.
- The years when UMKC played in a semifinal game in a conference tournament was 2004, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2017 and 2019.
- Playing against a No. 1 seed in the conference tournament, UMKC moves to 0-7 all-time dating back to 1995. Prior to today, the last such game came against top seed New Mexico State in 2017.
- The years when UMKC played a top seed was 2000, 2002, 2003, 2010, 2012, 2017 and 2019.
- In the six previous losses to the No. 1 seed, the average margin of loss was 7.3 points. The narrowest loss was a 78-77 overtime setback in 2012.
- Ericka Mattingly
- Smashed the single-game UMKC record for points in postseason history (since 1995). Mattingly finished with 37 points on 13-of-26 shooting. She added 10 rebounds for her sixth point, rebound double-double of the year. The previous record was held by Chazny Morris, who had 30 against North Dakota State on March 7, 2010 in the Summit League tournament. The all-time single game best was 46 points by Whitney Beckett vs Grand View on Nov. 25, 1986.
- The 37 points is a career-high. Her previous best was 30 against California Baptist on Jan. 10.
- With her 37 points Friday, she has now strung together 15-straight games with 10-plus points. Overall, she has hit double-digits in 29-of-31 games this year.
- Overall, she has surpassed 20 points on 18 occasions this year. In the two tournament games this year, Mattingly posted 64 points, 16 rebounds, nine assists and six steals.
- With her four assists today, Mattingly fell just shy of breaking Penny Waggner’s school single-season assist record (188) set back in the 1984-85 season. She ends her year with 186.
- She wraps up her season with 614 total points, which is good for third on the UMKC single-season list. She only trails Eilise O’Connor, who had 643 during the 2013-14 campaign and Stephanie Worthy, who had 712.
- Leilah Vigil
- Her 13 rebounds today pushed her season total to 18 games with at least 10 boards.
- Finished her freshman campaign with a double-double averaging 11.2 points and 10.0 rebounds.
- Her 14 season double-doubles is tied for No. 34 in the NCAA.
- Emily Ivory
- Drained 84 three-pointers on the year, which came three shy of tying the single-season individual school record set by Veda McNeal (1992-93), who had 87. Earlier this year, Ivory already established herself as the record holder for UMKC freshmen with her season 3-pointers.
- She set the freshman season 3-point record during the Feb. 28 game against New Mexico State surpassing the 73 of Calli White.
- Kristen Moore
- Is the only player with previous WAC tournament experience heading into this year’s event. Friday was her seventh postseason game and she ended her Roo career with 84 tournament points.