The Kansas City women’s basketball team lost its first place spot in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) in a tough defeat last Thursday, giving up an 11-0 run to end the game after holding a five point lead. The Roos rebounded in a big way on Saturday, however, displaying their killer instinct to pull away and defeat California State Bakersfield, 58-43.
“When you look back to Thursday’s game, we didn’t play very smart basketball, and we learned from it,” said Head Coach Jacie Hoyt. “We stored that memory away, and it was something we can’t do again. We did exactly that, as we focused on rebounding, getting stops on defense, exciting and being smart with time management.”
Both offenses got into high gear to start the game, but the Runners got hot first, jumping out to an 11-5 run with three triples. The Roos offense caught up quickly, and the score was deadlocked at 18 after the first quarter. The second quarter was a back-and-forth affair as both teams went at it on offense and defense, with the Roos taking a slim three-point lead into the half.
Kansas City’s defense and rebounding showed up in a big way in the second half. Despite their hot start, the Runners converted on just three three-pointers the rest of the way and made only four field goals in the second half. The Roos held the Runners to just 14 points in the half, their lowest point total allowed to a Division I opponent in a half in four years. Kansas City also out-rebounded the Runners by 16.
Senior guard Ericka Mattingly was a star once again, finishing with 18 points and leading the team with eight rebounds.
“Coach always tells us to weather the storm and play to our principles, so we stood strong and did not let [the defeat] get to us,” said sophomore guard Jonaie Johnson. “The hard work being put in the gym and getting shots up after hours is starting to reflect on the court.”
With just four games left, Kansas City hits the road to play the California Baptist Lancers on Wednesday, Feb. 19.