Women’s basketball: Roos celebrate Senior Night with win over North Dakota State

Mandy Willems (#21) hugging Namoie Alnatas (#3) after defeating the Bisons 76-67. (Julia Kapros/Roo News)

Cristian Martinez

A well-prepared North Dakota State Bisons squad couldn’t stop the Kansas City Roos on Senior Night. The Roos turned up the intensity in the final minutes of Saturday’s game, cementing their 76-67 victory. 

Graduate forward Brooklyn McDavid’s smooth fadeaway shot and lengthy stature caused issues for the Bison early on. By the end of the game, McDavid totaled 22 points, six rebounds, one assist and two blocks. Her performance on Saturday night was her eighth 20+ point game of the season. 

Meanwhile, senior guard Naomie Alnatas found herself in constant foul trouble throughout the match. She had four personal fouls which led to only 17 minutes of play. In that short time, however, Alnatas scored 17 points, reeled in five rebounds and one assist. She dominated the last four minutes of the game, scoring eight of the 17 total points during the final run. 

The Kansas City Roos starters, Mandy Willems (#21), Naomie Alnatas (#3), Kiara Bradley (#4), Brooklyn McDavid (#1) and Paige Bradford (#23), huddling up early in the second quarter. (Julia Kapros/Roo News)

The rest of the starters played a pivotal role in Saturday’s impressive performance. 

Senior forward Paige Bradford and graduate forward Kiara Bradley each had eight rebounds, highlighting their lengthy work inside the paint. Bradford scored 10 points as well, while Bradley’s three-point game helped her reach nine points. Senior guard Mandy Willems helped set the tone for the team in critical moments and was relentless on defense for most of the afternoon. 

Sophomore guard Sanaa’ St. Andre also continues to elevate her play for Kansas City. Against North Dakota State, she slithered her way through their stiff defense for nine points. Her one rebound, three assists and one steal provided some efficiency when Alnatas stayed on the bench. On top of that, her ability to command the offense consistently provided a sneak peek at her full-time role with the Roos. 

For many Roos on the team, this will be their final season playing for Kansas City. 

“I will say, every single time our backs were against the wall and we just came out with the win,” Alnatas said, reflecting on her career with the Roos.

Naomie Alnatas at the post-game conference with coach Jacie Hoyt and Brooklyn McDavid. (Julia Kapros/Roo News)

For McDavid, a reminder of a pre-season exercise provided a well-worth-it memory. 

“We had to do a thing called boot camp,” said McDavid with a beaming smile. “And I just remember praying to the Lord that we would all make it through, and it was such a great moment for us. It was team bonding, and it was one of my favorite moments.”

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