by Kristin Haseley
The IUPUI women’s basketball team looked to even their Summit League record on Monday night as they played their final home game of the season. The Jags welcomed the UMKC Kangaroos into The Jungle for what turned out to be a battle until the final seconds. The ‘Roos were able to escape with a narrow 58-56 victory.
After trailing the entire second half the Jags began a comeback with 4:41 left in the game when sophomore Dawn Luster found her way to the basket for a lay-in. IUPUI built off that momentum shift and made a 12-4 run that cut the Kangaroo’s lead to just two points. Perfect free throw shooting down the stretch was the key to IUPUI’s comeback as junior Kerah Nelson went 6-6 from the line and sophomore Katie Comello went 2-2 in the last five minutes of play.
The Jaguars found themselves with a chance at the potential game-tying field goal with just 5.4 seconds left in the game. The inbound pass went to sophomore Katie Comello who drove the lane and put up a runner that was too strong off the glass. Freshman Nevena Markovic found herself with the rebound and put up a last second effort that fell just short of the rim.
Comello was a key spark off the bench for IUPUI and was the only player besides Nelson in double digits for the Jags, as she recorded 12 points on the night. Comello went a perfect 8-8 from the free throw line and collected five rebounds for the Jaguars.
UMKC was led to victory by the strong post presence of Ashli Hill, who finished the night with 14 points and seven rebounds. Unfortunately the Jags had no defensive answer for the six foot, five inch center, who was the tallest player on the court all night for either team. The ‘Roos other big points came from Elise O’Connor, who put up 13 points and added eight rebounds.
The Lady Jaguars have already clinched a spot in the Summit League Tournament and will finish out their regular season games on the road in the Dakotas next weekend. They will matchup against South Dakota State on Feb 25 and then finish out the weekend at North Dakota State on Feb 27.