Thursday, March 4, 2021
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Women’s basketball overwhelms Utah Valley

The UMKC women’s basketball team demolished Utah Valley 97-64 on Saturday at Swinney Recreation Center.  The Roos used rebounding and the three-ball as their main weapon against the Wolverines.

UMKC dominated the glass early, especially on the offensive end, but failed to capitalize on extra chances at the basket. Utah Valley wanted to play a half-court game, and the Roos wanted to speed up the Wolverines by playing a half-court press defense. This proved effective, as it created turnovers and easy shots in transition for the Roos. This helped UMKC find their footing in the game after struggling early to knock down shots.

Solid rebounding helped the Roos shoot the ball nine more times than the Wolverines in the first quarter. This was key in UMKC separating itself from Utah Valley early in the game.  Ericka Mattingly played a big part in this, hitting all of her shots for eight points and creating shots for her teammates. Leilah Vigil was able to corral eight boards in the first quarter alone.  The Roos closed the first quarter on a 7-0 run and extended their lead to 21-12 heading into the second quarter.

The Roos continued to generate second chances off the glass in the second quarter. UMKC’s ball movement was brilliant, and they were able to dissect Utah Valley’s zone defense with ease.  After a quick 6-0 run from the Wolverines that shrank UMKC’s lead to seven, the Roos answered with a 9-0 run. This run extended UMKC’s lead to 16 with about five minutes left in the half, forcing Utah Valley to spend a timeout. Emily Ivory caught fire during this run, scoring 13 points in the first half and going 3-of-6 from the three-point line. Despite committing 10 turnovers, the Roos went into halftime up comfortably, 44-31.

Offensively and defensively, the Roos came to play when the second half started.  The Roos played with a little more urgency and energy and did not want to let the game slip away. The half-court press defense from the Roos was stout and suffocating, and UMKC made it very difficult for the Wolverines to set up and organize their offense. Early on in the third quarter, the Roos played through the post and gained a rhythm they lost towards the end of the first half.  When UMKC made baskets, it allowed them to get set in their press defense and create confusion for the Wolverines. By the seven-minute mark, the Roos grew their lead to 20, and Utah Valley was forced to use another timeout.

Utah Valley had to play at UMKC’s fast pace to find their way back into the game, but the Roos continued to make it difficult for the Wolverines to operate their offense. Utah Valley’s zone defense was no match for UMKC’s effective ball movement, and the Roos were able to knock down three consecutive shots from beyond the arc. Two of these came from Ivory, who continued to feel the hot hand. UMKC outscored Utah Valley 28-18 in the third quarter and took a commanding 72-49 lead into the fourth quarter.

UMKC coasted to victory in the final period and used the last three minutes of the game to rest their starters. There were several standouts from the game for UMKC: Mattingly had 21 points, seven rebounds and 11 assists, while Ivory finished with 25 points on 7-of-13 shooting from three-point range. Vigil scored 14 points and came down with a ridiculous 21 rebounds. UMKC played very efficiently, shooting 47 percent from the field and a scorching 43 percent from deep.

The Roos will look to extend their win streak to three when they travel to New Mexico State to take on the Aggies on Feb. 28.

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