Kansas City women’s basketball entered the season hosting a Denver team that had beaten them in their last two match-ups. The Roos got off to another slow start against the Pioneers this year, but for the first time since Head Coach Jacie Hoyt took over, Kansas City started the season with a win, outlasting Denver 83-79.
“I’m so proud of our team just because that was a really quality win,” Hoyt said. “Denver is a team that I have so much respect for. They are a team that had our utmost respect coming in, and we knew that we would have to play really well and defend really well.”
After falling behind by 10 points early in the opening quarter, the Roos found a spark on offense. Freshman forward Tajah Foster-Walker opened her collegiate career scoring seven of her 15 points in her first eight minutes played, helping bring Denver’s lead down to three at the end of the first.
WAC Preseason Player of the Year Ericka Mattingly got in on the scoring action in the second half, putting up seven points of her own. The Roos entered the half with a one-point lead.
In a game already poised to be a thriller, things intensified in the second half. The third quarter was highly entertaining and physical, with neither team able to build a decent lead. In the fourth quarter, however, the Roos started to put the Pioneers away.
Sophomore guard Emily Ivory contributed to this in a big way, scoring five straight points early in the fourth and draining a huge three to give the Roos an eight-point lead with two minutes left in the game. The three ended up being the dagger for Kansas City.
“I felt that we played very well together as one unit,” Ivory said. “Last year was a whole different story as we got blown out by like 20. This year, we fought together and our toughness was really there; we were just one unit.”
The Roos then traveled to California to play in the Preseason WNIT, falling in the first game of the tournament against University of Pacific 60-89.
The game was tied 18-18 after the first quarter, but Pacific used a 15-0 run to take a 20 point lead into the half.
It was a sloppy night for Kansas City offensively, as the team committed 23 turnovers and finished with only six assists.
The Roos will look to bounce back in a home contest against Rockhurst on Nov. 19 at 6 p.m.