The women’s basketball team solidified its 4th place standing in the Summit League after a punishing 84-69 victory over Western Illinois on Saturday evening in Macomb, Ill.
Senior Dayon Hall-Jones was magnificent in the contest, contributing 33 points as the Roos improved to 17-10, 8-7 in Summit League play for the season.
Junior Kim Nezianya netted 11 points, as did senior LeAndrea Thomas.
Sophomore Eilise O’Connor added nine points, six assists and five rebounds.
With shared offensive scoring, the Roos were dominant throughout the contest as they proved too hot for the hosting Leathernecks (11-15, 7-8 in Summit League play).
The Roos started strong, silencing the Western Hall crowd, opening up a seven-point lead with some swift scoring.
Senior Brianna Eldridge was powerful in the opening stages and Hall-Jones was accurate from the free-throw line.
Despite a brief Leatherneck response, Hall-Jones hit eight points to push the Roo lead to 11. However, the home side responded with great pace and reduced the lead to two before a buzzer-beating three from O’Connor gave the Roos a 39-34 halftime lead.
After encouraging words from Coach Candace Whitaker, the Roos came out strong at the beginning of the second half, scoring the first five points and extending their lead by 10 to 44-34 early on.
A 13-5 run by the Leathernecks cut the score to 58-54, but the Roos answered with a quick-fire 14-0 run that all but put the game to bed at 72-54 with just 7.08 on the clock. The Roos gained a game high 22-point advantage before their 84-69 victory, causing the Leathernecks playoff trouble.
Offensively, Hall-Jones was unstoppable, producing five three-point scores and tallying a team-high seven assists. Defensively, the Roos were impressive as they forced 21 Leatherneck turnovers, which included 13 steals.
The Lady Roos will travel to face IUPUI in Indianapolis for their final road game of the season before returning on Feb. 25 to face IPFW in Swinney Rec. Center.