Hall-Jones’ 33 Leads ‘Roos To 84-69 Win Over Western Illinois
UMKC Athletics 2-18-2012
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(Macomb. Ill.)  -- The UMKC women's basketball team (17-10, 8-7) picked up a 84-69 win over Western Illinois (11-15, 7-8) on Saturday afternoon at Western Hall behind 33 points from senior Dayon Hall-Jones, the second highest output of her career.

In the game, the Dallas, Texas native finished 12-of-18 from the field, including 5-of-8 from beyond the arc and 4-of-6 from the line, while adding a team-high seven assists.

Junior Kim Nezianya, meanwhile, added 11 points, seven rebounds and two steals, while sophomore Eilise O'Connor added nine points, six assists and five rebounds and senior Brianna Eldridge added five points, seven rebounds and two steals.  Senior LeAndrea Thomas was the only other 'Roos to finish in double figures, scoring 11 points in the win, while adding four rebounds and three steals.

The 'Roos jumped out to a 6-3 lead thanks to a pair of threes by Hall-Jones and after a layup by the Leathernecks, Eldridge added a three to increase the lead to 9-5 with 17:43 left in the half.

A layup by Western Illinois cut the lead to one, but a rebound put back by Eldridge and back-to-back jumpers by Hall-Jones and Thomas pushed the UMKC lead to seven at the 14:39 mark of the first half.

The two teams would trade the next four baskets, before back-to-back layups by WIU sliced the UMKC lead to 19-16.

The 'Roos would maintain the three-point advantage until a layup by sophomore Hailey Houser and two Hall-Jones free throws extended the lead back to seven with 6:10 remaining in the first half.

After a WIU layup cut the lead to five, Hall-Jones then reeled off the next eight UMKC points, including two threes, to extend the Kangaroo lead to a half-high 11 at 33-22.

The Leathernecks, though, scored the game's next nine points to trim the deficit to just two with 1:33 on the clock before a layup by sophomore Ashli Hill ended the WIU run.

Three straight free throws by the home team cut the lead to 35-34, but UMKC scored the final four points of the half, including a three-pointer by sophomore Eilise O'Connor from the right baseline at the horn, to take a 39-34 lead into halftime.

In the half, Hall-Jones finished with 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting, including 4-of-6 from beyond the arc.

Coming out of the break, the 'Roos scored the first five points of the half to extend their run to 9-0 and their lead to 44-34 early in the second half.

The Leathernecks would cut the lead to five at the 15:48 mark, but seven straight from the Kangaroos, including an O'Connor three and two field goals from Hall-Jones put UMKC in front by 12 with 13:39 remaining in the contest.

A 13-5 run by WIU cut the score to 58-54, but the 'Roos would answer with a run that would put the game away, starting at the 9:39 mark when Thomas converted a layup that jump started a 14-0 run by the Kangaroos over the next 2:24.

During the run, Thomas led the 'Roos with six points, while Hall-Jones scored four of the 14 Kangaroo points, extending the lead to a 72-54 with just over seven minutes left in the game.

A WIU layup ended the UMKC rally, but the Kangaroos countered with the next five points to increase the lead to 21 for UMKC.

UMKC would go on to build its lead to a game-high 22 before picking up the 84-69 Summit League win on the road.

Defensively, the 'Roos forced 21 Leatherneck turnovers, including 13 on steals, scoring 21 points off the turnovers.  On the glass, UMKC out-rebounded WIU, 42-34 and finished with 15 second chance points.

The Blue & Gold will be back in action again on Monday when they head to Indianapolis, Ind., for their final road game of the season when they take on IUPUI at 6:00 p.m. in The Jungle.

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