'Roos Drop Heartbreaker 79-73 To Jackrabbits
UMKC Athletics 2-11-2012
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(Kansas City, Mo.)  -- The UMKC women's basketball team (15-10, 6-7) fell in heartbreaking fashion, 79-73, on Saturday night to South Dakota State (18-7, 13-1) at the Swinney Recreation Center after holding a 15 point first half lead.

Junior Kim Nezianya led the Kangaroo effort with 16 points, five rebounds and three steals, senior Dayon Hall-Jones and sophomore Eilise O'Connor each chipped in 12 points.

In the game, the 'Roos took an early 10-7 lead, but SDSU scored six of the next eight points to take a 13-12 advantage at the 13:08 mark of the first half.

On the ensuing UMKC possession Hall-Jones drilled a three on an assist by senior LeAndrea Thomas, jump starting a 15-2 run by the 'Roos that featured nine points by Hall-Jones.

A pair of free throws by South Dakota State at the 7:50 mark ended the UMKC run, but the 'Roos would go on to build their lead to a game-high 15 on two free throws by Ashli Hill before taking a 38-26 lead into intermission.

Coming out of the break the Jacks scored the first eight points but a Nezianya jumper with 17:55 left to play extended the lead back to six.

South Dakota State then pulled to within one at 42-41 before taking their first lead of the half at 48-47 on two free throws by the Jacks' Jennie Sunnarborg.

A jumper by senior Jade Tinner tied the game at 53, but SDSU would build a six point lead with 3:39 left to play.

On the next UMKC possession O'Connor knocked down two free throws to cut the lead to four for UMKC and two possession later Nezianya went to the line for a pair of free throws, made the first and missed the second, but Hill would collect the rebound and find Thomas open in the corner where the senior buried her only three of the game to tie the score at 69-69.

A driving layup by Jill Young put the Jacks back in front, but O'Connor would answer with a jumper to tie the score for the eighth time at 71.

South Dakota State then connected on back-to-back field goals to take a four point lead but two free throws by Thomas trimmed the margin to two with 44 seconds remaining in the contest.

The Jacks would come up empty on the ensuing possession, giving the Kangaroos one last chance to even the score with 14 second left to play.

On the UMKC possession Hall-Jones drove the lane but was unable to convert the layup and South Dakota State would collect the rebound.

The Jackrabbits then closed the game out with four free throws to hold on for the 79-73 win.

Defensively, UMKC forced 20 Jackrabbit turnovers, including nine on steals, while limiting SDSU to just 41.5 percent shooting from the field.

Thomas finished with nine points, five assists, four rebounds, four steals and a block, while sophomore Ashli Hill added eight points, two blocks and a team-high six rebounds.

The Blue & Gold will be back in action again on Monday when they host North Dakota State at7 p.m. inside the Swinney Recreation Center.


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