by Kristin Haseley
The Jaguars traveled to Swinney Recreation Center at UMKC Saturday evening in hopes of completing a three game winning streak. The Kangaroos had other plans though, as they defeated the Lady Jaguars 63-55. Eilise O’Connor lead UMKC to the victory with 19 points, six assists, and three steals. IUPUI falls to 8-12 overall and 3-5 in Summit League play.
IUPUI was able to hold off UMKC’s offensive firepower for most of the first half, but a 9-0 run late in the half found IUPUI trailing by as many as 12 points. With a short burst of scoring lead by IUPUI’s Kerah Nelson, the Jags entered halftime trailing by six points.
The Jaguars came out in the second half looking to shrink the ‘Roos’ lead and pull ahead. IUPUI remained within striking distance for most of the half, including cutting the lead to as little as three points with an Emily Phillips jumper that put the score at 49-46. Unfortunately that would be as close as the Jags would get for the rest of the game. Despite a valiant defensive effort, the Kangaroos would overpower IUPUI for their 15th win of the season, improving their conference record to 5-3.
“Tonight we shot 37 percent, but we out rebounded them and we said coming in that last year we got blown out of here because we didn’t rebound. We competed, we played great defense. Now if you don’t have 24 turnovers you have a chance to win the game and we’ll try to get that corrected when we go to South Dakota,” said head coach Austin Parkinson.
Offensively the Lady Jags were lead by Nelson who scored 20 points. She was joined in double figures by point guard Emily Phillips and true freshman Nevena Markovic. The Jaguars were also left without the services of sophomore guard Katie Comello, who is out with an ankle injury. Comello was named the Summit League Co-Player of the Week after her impressive performances against Oral Roberts and Southern Utah last week.
“For us, we hadn’t swept a home series since 2008-09. We’ve taken that step beating Oral Roberts and Southern Utah last week. We have beaten two teams that were ranked in the Mid-Major Top 25. The next step for us is to win a road game, “said Parkinson.
The Jags are back in Summit League action Monday night as they travel to Vermillion, South Dakota. IUPUI will tip-off at 8 pm in the Dakota Dome against the University of South Dakota.