The Kansas City women’s basketball team fell in a double-overtime thriller against Loyola-Chicago last weekend at the Swinney Center, 67-72. The Roos erased a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter to force overtime without their two best players making much of an impact in the game.
“We just weren’t tough enough,” said Head Coach Jacie Hoyt. “We gave up 17 offensive rebounds, that’s all this game was about and we did not do our job. Awal Ajak hit big shots and I’m proud of her. Jada Mickens and Cristina Soriano also stepped up as well.”
The game began as a back-and-forth shootout, with both teams going at least 45% from the field. Senior guard Ericka Mattingly started off hot with seven points in the first, but the Ramblers held a slim three-point lead at the end of the quarter. Loyola-Chicago adjusted to limit Mattingly offensively, holding her to nine points the rest of the way.
The second quarter belonged to Loyola-Chicago, as they held Kansas City to 3-19 shooting and only eight points to enter halftime with an 11 point lead, 36-27.
The Roos continued to struggle offensively to start the second half but picked things up on defense, holding the Ramblers to 23% shooting in the third. Still, Kansas City faced a 12-point deficit entering the final quarter. The Roos’ two best players were held in check for most of the game—sophomore guard Emily Ivory finished with only two threes and Mattingly eventually fouled out.
The offense was in dire straits until senior guard Awal Ajak and junior forward Jada Mickens stepped up late in the fourth. Ajak, who only had one three entering the contest, hit three of them in the fourth quarter alone. Mickens also added a three in the fourth to complete the comeback and take the game into overtime at 57 apiece. Both teams scored five points in the first overtime to force a second, where the Roos eventually came up short. Kansas City had three chances to win the game but missed all three shots.
“It was very tough because we wanted that game bad as them too,” Ajak said. “At the start of the fourth, coach sat us down and told us what needed to be done. We had to fight for those 11 points.”
The loss drops Kansas City to 3-3 on the season. They hit the road to take on 3-1 George Mason tonight.