KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC women’s basketball team (4-11) claimed it’s fourth victory of the 2017-18 campaign, rolling past Central Christian (2-8) in Tuesday night’s matchup by a final score of 90-10.
The Roos got off to a slow start on the offensive end in opening minutes of the contest, connecting on just one of their first six field goal attempts. In an effort to spark the energy, UMKC deployed a full five-man just ahead of the first quarter media break substitution to shift the tide.
It was a strategy that proved to be effective as the Roos scored 14 points over the final five minutes of the opening period, taking an 18-0 lead into the second quarter. Freshman guard Taylor Larson (Huxley, Iowa) gave the team a major boost in the run, knocking down a pair of three-pointers on consecutive possessions. Larson finished her night scoring 11 points on three makes from beyond the arc, both career-highs for the first-year player, while adding five rebounds and an assist.
Larson was not the only player to take advantage of extended minutes in the contest as sophomores Rilynne Like (Overland Park, Kan.) and Bri Stiers (Denver, Colo.) each put together solid performances.
Stiers, who dropped in a pair of buckets in the first quarter flurry, also set a new career-high with 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the field. She would also tally six rebounds in the game and four assists. Like put together an equally well-rounded stat line, finished the contest with a season-high eight points to go along with a pair of rebounds and a season-high four assists.
In a game where Central Christian was simply overmatched, the matchup gave the Roos an opportunity not only to get their bench valuable playing time but also improve on specific sets on both ends of the floor as the team heads into Western Athletic Conference play.
“We felt it like it was very important to get our bench reps and minutes to build their confidence because there will be times down the road when we do need them,” noted head coach Jacie Hoyt. “For them to come in and have that confidence that they can come in and execute our sets and our defense, we feel like that is huge heading into conference play.”
The second quarter of action belonged entirely to Aries Washington (Kansas City, Mo.) as she continued to widen the already sizeable UMKC advantage. The senior guard scored 11 of her 18 points in the period, blazing the nets with three makes from beyond the arc and helping send the Roos into halftime with a 47-5 lead. The night proved to serve as another milestone for Washington, as she followed up scoring her 1,000th career point in the FAU Holiday Classic with securing her 500th career rebound in tonight’s ballgame.
Play in the second half of action looked largely similar to the first with the Roos continuing to dominate in all facets of the game. Offensively, the team was quite sharp as they finished the night shooting 49.3% from the field and 39.3% from three-point distance.
Additionally, UMKC piled up a season-best 29 assists on their 36 made baskets and also did a phenomenal job of taking care of the ball with only nine turnovers, their lowest mark of the season. Daijane Dillard (Los Angeles, Calif.) and India Johnson (Overland Park, Kan.) were particularly effective in sharing the ball, combining to dish out 13 assists in the game.
The Roos were equally sharp defensively, tightly contesting every Central Christian shot attempt and harassing ball handlers from the opening tip to final whistle. The tremendous effort limited the Saints to shooting just 12.5% from the field and forced 33 turnovers for another season-best statistic.
As the contest drew to a finish, Paige Husa (Fairbury, Neb.) secured her second double-double of the season, closing with 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Justice Collins (Springfield, Ill.), who recently re-joined the team over the holiday break, scored her first points of the season and the final points of the game to put a wrap on the 90-10 victory.
“We were extremely efficient tonight, shooting around 50% from the field and 40% from three,” commented Hoyt. “I was proud of our team for staying disciplined and not settling for just any open shot but getting the open shots that we were trying to set up throughout the game.”
UMKC will play next on Saturday, Jan. 6 at 7 p.m. CT against UT-Rio Grande Valley (10-5) to open up Western Athletic Conference play. The game will be broadcast on the WAC Digital Network free of charge and will also have Live Stats available.
– UMKC –