UMKC Holds On For 58-56 Victory At IUPUI
UMKC Athletics 2-20-2012
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(Indianapolis, Ind.)  -- The UMKC women's basketball team (18-10, 9-7) held on for a 58-56 victory over IUPUI (12-16, 7-9) on Monday night at The Jungle after leading by as many as 12 in the contest.

For the 'Roos, sophomore Eilise O'Connor finished with 13 points, eight rebounds, five assists, two steals and a block, while fellow sophomore Ashli Hill led the 'Roos with 14 points, seven rebounds, three blocks, a steal and an assist.  Senior Brianna Eldridge, meanwhile, notched eight rebounds, four points, three assists and a steal.

Senior Dayon Hall-Jones got the 'Roos started with a three from the top of the key, but after 10 points, the score was all tied up at five with 17:46 on the clock.

O'Connor broke the deadlock with a layup, and two possessions later sophomore Hailey Houser knocked down two free throws to give the 'Roos a 9-5 advantage in the contest.

Two IUPUI free throws cut the lead to two for UMKC, but junior Kaycie Boyles found senior LeAndrea Thomas open in the corner for three to push the 'Roo lead to five.

Back-to-back Jaguar field goals pulled the home team to within one, but O'Connor buried a three from the right wing, on an assist from Hall-Jones, to stretch the lead back to four.

On the ensuing possession, IUPUI cut the lead to two with a layup at the 11:03 mark of the half before a two minute scoreless drought took over the game.

Senior Jade Tinner ended the drought with a basket down low, but IUPUI answered with two free throws to keep the margin at two.

Four straight from the Kangaroos on a Thomas layup and a Houser jumper increased the UMKC lead to a half-high at 21-15, but a 5-0 run by IUPUI cut the lead to one with just under six minutes remaining in the first half.

Tinner would again answer for UMKC, as the senior connected on back-to-back layups to give the 'Roos a 25-20 lead with five minutes left to play in the half.

The Jaguars, though, would end the half on a 7-2 run to tie the score at 27 heading into halftime.

Coming out of the break, junior Kim Nezianya drilled a jumper starting a 12-0 run by the 'Roos that featured eight points on Hill layups and had UMKC up 39-27 four and a half minutes into the second half.

Two straight Jaguar baskets ended the rally and cut the lead to eight, before a steal and a layup by Thomas pushed the lead back to ten for UMKC and ended a 4:16 scoreless drought for the 'Roos.

Five consecutive points by the IUPUI trimmed the advantage to five for UMKC but Nezianya hit a three from the top of the key and Hall-Jones found O'Connor open underneath the basket for an easy layup extend the Kangaroo lead to 46-36 with just under nine minutes left in the contest.

An O'Connor free throw stretched the lead to 11, but back-to-back baskets in the paint by IUPUI cut the lead to seven with 5:55 left to play.

Eldridge answered with a layup for the 'Roos and on the ensuing possession Hill buried a jumper from the right baseline to give the Kangaroos a 51-40 lead with just under five minutes left in regulation.

The Jaguars, though, would not go away, as IUPUI went on an 8-1 run to cut the lead to just four with 2:58 left to play.

A layup by Hill extended the lead back to six, but IUPUI immediately answered with two free throws and layup to pull to within two at 54-52 with 1:49 on the clock.

On the ensuing UMKC possession, Thomas drove through the lane and missed the layup, but Hill collected the rebound and converted the layup to stretch the lead back to four.

IUPUI junior Kerah Nelson answered with her sixth consecutive point for the Jaguars, but a pair of O'Connor free throws kept the margin at four for UMKC.

Two more free throws by Nelson with 46 seconds on the clock cut the lead to 58-56 and the 'Roos would come up empty on the ensuing possession, giving IUPUI one last chance with 11.2 second remaining in the game.

On the final possession, IUPUI's Katie Comello drove the lane, but missed the open layup.  The Jags collected the rebound, but Nevena Markovic's shot at the buzzer came up short and the 'Roos held on for the 58-56 victory.

In the game, the 'Roos out-rebounded IUPUI 44-34 and finished with 30 points in the paint.

Individually, Tinner scored eight points and collected four rebounds, while Thomas added seven for the 'Roos.

The Blue & Gold will be back in action again on Saturday when they return home for a 4:05 p.m. contest with IPFW at the Swinney Recreation Center.

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