The Eastern Michigan University women’s basketball team took on the University of Missouri-Kansas City Kangaroos, winning 75-66 in a “home game” at the Activities Center on the campus of Madonna University in Livonia, Mich.
The St. Joe’s Holiday Ball forced the Eagles to relocate, but they brought their game with them, improving to 6-0 on the season.
Despite shooting 9-37 from three-point range, EMU (6-0, 0-0 Mid-American Conference) was led by Janay Morton, who had a team-high 18 points.
Desyree Thomas had another big game as she scored 17 and dished out six assists. EMU also had a big lift from Jamaica Bucknor who added 11 points. Emu’s Olivia Fouty had eight points but lead EMU in rebounds with 10.
The game was scoreless for the first ninety seconds, until a fast break layup from Thomas from a Fouty defensive rebound.
UMKC (2-7, 0-0 Western Athletic Conference) got its first points of the game on Taylor Strickland’s layup that made it 4-2 in favor of EMU with 16:38 remaining in the first half.
After some turnovers from EMU, UMKC scored six straight points in a one-minute span to take a four-point lead.
Eastern fired back with a three pointer from Haley Moore to bring them within three. Consecutive three-point makes from Bucknor and Thomas gave them the lead.
UMKC would call for a timeout after Moore hit another three ball making it EMU’s fourth straight three-pointer to bring it to a 16-12.
Following a timeout from UMKC, the Eagles got hot from beyond the arc as Thomas with a pull up to hit her second triple of the game. Eastern would go on three-point shooting streak by hitting five in a row and Morton would score to give them a 21-16 lead.
The Kangaroos showed that they weren’t phased by EMU’s run, by make a couple of scores to bring them within two points. A Strickland shot would make it a tie game at 26-26 with six minutes remaining in the half, but a three from Morton would once again give EMU the lead. Both teams could not score for two minutes until Fouty hit two free-throws and EMU’s Denaya Brazzle would make her first basket to make it 34-26.
In the second half, EMU gained a 10-point lead, its largest lead of the game after Phillis Webb was fouled making a lay-up and made it a three-point play by knocking down a free throw and keep Eastern on top, 48-38.
EMU would eventually have a 70-66 lead later on in the second after Sara Stone would hit a free throw with 18 seconds left on the clock after a steal from Thomas would make it a 73-66 lead after hitting free throws on a UMKC foul.
EMU’s Natachia Watkins hit a couple of free throws for the nine-point win.
The Eagles’ next game will be against the University of Michigan, Wed. Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor.