Women’s Basketball Summit League Women’s Basketball Tournament Preview

The Kansas City Roos look to win in the Summit League tournament.

Lane Mayo, Staff Writer

 The Kansas City Roos’ women’s basketball team wrapped up its regular season this weekend with a pair of tough defeats at home. Now, they are set to turn the page on the regular season and set their sights on the 2023 Summit League Basketball Championship tournament.

  Kansas City’s (7-22, 3-15 SUMMIT) first-round matchup in the tournament is set to be against the Denver Pioneers (12-17, 8-10 SUMMIT), a team that swept the Roos in the regular season. In their first matchup on Dec. 29, Kansas City burst out to an early 18-9 first-quarter lead but ultimately lost the game 60-73. That game started in absence of St. Andre, who suffered an injury early in the fourth quarter and was sidelined for multiple weeks.

  Their second matchup just one month later on Jan. 28 was much of the same, as Kansas City kept it close once more with the Pioneers until the second half, ultimately losing by a score of 60-69.

  To avoid a repeat of their last two encounters with the Pioneers and prevent being a one-and-done showing in this year’s tournament, Kansas City must place a strong defensive emphasis on containing Denver’s forwards in 6 ‘1” Graduate Mikayla Brandon and 6 ‘3″ Senior Makayla Minett. Their presence in the paint on both ends of the basketball court has given the Roos fits. If players like Jocelyn Ewell or Tamia Ugass aren’t on their A-game this Friday, Brandon and Minett will wreak havoc underneath.

  Leading up to the tournament, there are a handful of positives to take away from Saturday’s Senior Day matinee with the South Dakota Coyotes, even though Kansas City was defeated in a nail-biter 74-73.  

  Despite the absences of guard Rain Green, forwards Trinity Moreland, and Tamia Ugass, all out due to illnesses, the seven Roos that suited up Saturday played exceptionally. Kansas City shot a stellar 28-53 (52.8%) FG percentage, with guards E’Lease Stafford, Manna Mensah, and Sanaa’ St. Andre all having scored over 15+ points in the game respectively.

  If Kansas City wishes to make any noise in the tournament, they must replicate this type of performance and aim to come out as victors this time ‘round, something they have failed to accomplish for over a month.

  Their key to victory relies on how well their guards can perform, as Stafford, St. Andre, and Mensah all must put their best foot forward to stay in this contest. Plus, with the potential return of Rain Green to the lineup from her illness alongside the surging freshman in Zaire Harrell as of late, perhaps the Roos are as ready as they’ll ever be to shock the Summit League table.

  Friday’s first-round matchup against the Denver Pioneers will be streamed live on ESPN+. Live audio from the game is being broadcasted on the RooTV YouTube channel! If you want to watch other Summit League games, go to MidcoSports.com/streaming.


[email protected]