Lady Roos beat Louisiana-Monroe by a hair

Luke Harman

Emile Blakesley starts another Roo attack.
Emile Blakesley starts another Roo attack.

The women’s basketball team (4-2) picked up its fourth win of the season with a 76-70 overtime victory over Louisiana-Monroe (0-6) after trailing by as many as 16 in the contest on Saturday afternoon at the United Spirit Arena in Lubbock, Texas.

Sophomore Eilise O’Connor led the way for the Roos offensively, tying her career-high with 22 points, while junior Kim Nezianya and senior Dayon Hall-Jones added 16 and 13, respectively.

In the game, the Roos dominated the glass, out-rebounding the Warhawks, 59-43 with junior Kaycie Boyles recording a career-high 13, senior Brianna Eldridge 12 and Nezianya having nine.

The Roos started out slow, trailing 17-6 after a 8-0 ULM run. Junior Emile Blakesley headed a Roo revival, continuing her hot shooting with a three from the top of the key to trim the advantage to 19-11 with 12 minutes remaining in the first half.

The Warhawks answered with seven of the next nine points before a jumper by O’Connor pulled the Roos to within 11.

Two three-pointers and a pair of free throws by Louisiana-Monroe on its next three possessions extended the advantage to 36-21, but O’Connor again answered with a jumper for the Roos.

A pair of Warhawk free throws closed out the half, with the Roos entering the locker room trailing 43-29.

Coming out of the break, senior LeAndrea Thomas hit a runner in the lane and Hall-Jones followed with a three to cut the lead to single digits for the first time since the 5:33 mark of the first half.

The Warhawks, though, answered with a 6-1 run.

In response, the Roos reeled off seven straight and, after a ULM three, Boyles found Eldridge on a backdoor cut to slice the deficit to eight at 52-44 with 12:28 on the clock.

The two teams traded the next 12 points and after a ULM free throw, Nezianya and O’Connor combined to score the next three field goals, trimming the margin to just three with 6:30 remaining.

With the Roos knocking on the door, the score was tied at 61-60 until the 2:29 mark when Hall-Jones drove the lane and finished a layup to give the ‘Roos their first lead of the game. The game went to overtime after regulation time ended 63-63.

In overtime, the Warhawks struck first, but Nezianya quickly answered with a layup to tie the game. The game was frantic with end-to-end offensive plays from both sides keeping the contest tied until three straight from the Roos gave them a 72-69 lead with 1:35 left to play.

The Warhawks cut the lead to two on their next possession, but a rebound put back by Eldridge and a pair of O’Connor free throws extended the lead to six and gave UMKC the 76-70 victory.

The Blue & Gold will be back in action in their first Summit League contest of the season when they take on Oakland on Dec. 1 in Rochester, Mich. before battling IPFW on Dec. 3 in Fort Wayne.

[email protected]