Team still on track for Summit League Championship despite two straight losses

U-News Staff

The women’s basketball team’s Summit League record took a hit this week as it fell to 5-5 for the season after defeats to the Western Illinois Leathernecks and the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles. The Roos (14-8, 5-5 in Summit League play) currently sit in 5th position in the standings as they aim to cement their place in the post-season championship.

Oral Roberts 83- UMKC 70

In Saturday evening’s contest with the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles, the Roos fell. Three players posted career-high rebounds in the game as the Roos outrebounded their opponents 53-33 in Tulsa, Okla.

Junior Kim Nezianya collected her fourth double-double of the season as she led the Roos with 14 points and a career-high 15 rebounds. Senior Dayon Hall-Jones also recorded 14 points, while guards LeAndrea Thomas and Eilise O’Connor produced 11 and 10 points respectively.

The Golden Eagles (14-7, 8-2 in Summit League play), who are currently in second place in the Summit League behind the 9-1 South Dakota State Jackrabbits, were led by an unstoppable Kevi Luper as she collected 31 points on the night.

At the half, the Roos only trailed 31-27 despite only shooting 1 for 14 from three-point range. While the Roos battled back and put the home side under pressure for the majority of the second half, it was the Golden Eagles’ efficiency towards the end of the contest which proved vital. With just under three minutes left to play, Oral Roberts increased its lead to a game-high 19 points after an excellent 12-2 run and while the Roos answered with a 10-4 run to close out the game, the margin was just too great.

Western Illinois 66- UMKC 63

In Monday night’s home contest with the Western Illinois Leathernecks, the Roos came out on the wrong end. The game was perhaps the most tense contest seen at the Swinney Recreation Center this season as both teams matched each other both offensively and defensively for the duration of the night.

Sophomore guard O’Connor was on fire, draining 18 points and adding seven rebounds and three assists to the Roo cause. Hall-Jones added 12, while sophomore center Ashli Hill hit 10.

After trailing for the entire first half, the Roos netted the last seven points of the period to take a 35-32 lead into intermission.

The Foreign Language Academy drill team graced the Swinney Recreation Center crowd with a half-time performance filled with drumming and dances, and while the players applauded, the entertainers’ exit from the court was little to smile about during the next few agonizing minutes as the Leathernecks went on an 11-0 run.

The visitors built a game-high five-point lead, before Roo Kaycie Boyles reduced the lead to the Roos’ 62-60.

The Roos’ three-point attempt was off target as they missed their chance to send the game into overtime.

The Blue & Gold will now hit the road for games at Southern Utah in Cedar City, Utah on Jan. 30 before facing South Dakota in Vermillion, S.D. on Feb. 4.

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