Shockers fourth quarter comeback falls short to UMKC


Hannah Roberts

Junior guard Keke Thompson drives to the lane on Sunday against Creighton. Thompson knocked in two free throws to tie the game late, but UMKC won 56-54 on Tuesday. Photo by Hannah Roberts

Wichita State trailed the University of Missouri-Kansas City by 12 points at the end of the third quarter, with the bench stunned in disbelief. The Shocker women opened up their season with a 62-54 win over Creighton on Sunday, controlling the game in almost every aspect.

After three quarters of the Kangaroos controlling the tempo, it was WSU’s turn to dance. The Shockers responded by shooting 57% in the fourth quarter to come all the way back with the opportunity to tie the game with nine seconds left.

Junior Keke Thompson drilled in both pressure-packed free throws to tie the game at 54 with nine seconds left. Thompson then tipped the ball on the out of bounds sideline with 4.5 seconds left.

UMKC’s Kiana Law took the ball from the right side of the corner, took two dribbles to the middle of the lane and kissed the ball off the backboard with 1.5 seconds left to hand WSU their first loss of the season 56-54 at Charles Koch Arena on Tuesday Night.

“They came out with the better tempo, the better technique,” head coach Jody Adams-Birch said. “They made a lot of individual plays and we allowed that to happen.”


UMKC started the second half with a nine point lead, but a three-pointer from Bessard cut the lead 32-26 with 7:11 left to play in the third quarter. Samantha Waldron’s three allowed the Kangaroos to take another double digit lead with 1:13 left in the third quarter.

A basket by junior forward Rangie Bessard cut the lead to single digits temporarily, but Waldron’s and-one gave UMKC a 44-32 lead at the end of the third quarter.

Back-to-back baskets from freshman Kayla Williams cut the UMKC lead to single digits with 8:17 left in the fourth quarter. Williams later drove to the rim and laid the ball in off the backboard and drew the foul to cut the Shocker deficit to six with just over seven minutes to play.

A three-pointer from Williams turned it into a one possession game, but back-to-back baskets from Waldron extended the UMKC lead 51-45 with 5:27 left to play.

“You just have to stay ready when your name is called,” Williams said. “I just kept saying ‘I’m gonna make the next one, I’m gonna make the next one.’ When I went back in (the fourth quarter), I just played with confidence.”

Junior TaQuandra Mike forced a steal for a wide open layup that put the Shockers within three points. UMKC missed two free throws on their next possession, allowing for Bessard to grab the defensive rebound to set up the tying three-pointer from Williams.

The Kangaroos drew a foul, only knocking in one of their two free throw attempts. Williams drove to the basket with six seconds left on the shot clock, but was called for an offensive charge to give the ball back to UMKC.

UMKC got called for a traveling violation with 1:02 left, giving the ball back to the Shockers as Adams-Birch called the team’s final timeout.

“We wanted to go to our house play,” Adams-Birch said. “For whatever reason, we didn’t throw it (inside) and went to the next play. We had everybody spread out and these guys were going to be guarded on the fringe at that point in the game. It would’ve been one-on-one in the paint.”

Mike missed the a five foot jumper, fouling UMKC with 18 seconds left. The Kangaroos made only one out of two free throws, allowing Thompson to push the ball up the floor to draw the foul.

Bessard had a team-high of 20 points while grabbing four rebounds. Williams scored 14 fourth quarter points, finishing off with a career-high of 17 points.

WSU (1-1) travels to the University of Texas at Arlington on Sunday before traveling to Cancun, Mexico for the Cancun Challenge.

“We improved in the fourth quarter. We just have to do that in the first, second, and third quarter,” Thompson said. “We have to come out right intensity, right tempo and be a family on the court to get it done.”