This past week the women’s basketball team were on the receiving end of two overtime defeats as they opened up their Summit League conference account for the season. With the team’s record currently sitting at 5-4, the 0-2 conference record does not reflect the valiant efforts of the squad’s performances on two tough road contests versus IPFW in Fort Wayne, Ind. and Oakland in Rochester, Mich. Sophomore guard Eilise O’Connor has been an outstanding performer this season for the Blue & Gold this season and this past week, in particular.
O’Connor contributed 10 points against Oakland’s Golden Grizzlies, dishing out five assists in a hard-fought contest which the Roos eventually lost 71-65. In the Dec. 3 contest with the IPFW Mastodons, O’Connor fired a career-high 25-points, hitting 5-of-9 three-point attempts and producing a team-high four assists.
O’Connor has been a prominent part of the rise of the women’s basketball program. In her freshman year, she played in all 30 games, starting a team-high 28 games in the process. The 5’7” three-point specialist averaged a team-high 10.0 points per game, while grabbing 3.3 rebounds per game. Showing her overall impact on the team itself, O’Connor led with 82 assists, adding to her 40 steals and five blocks.
In her Roo career, O’Connor has netted 22 points on two separate occasions, bettered only by last week’s 25-point game at IPFW. Offensively, she dished out six assists in three games, while contributing defensively with steals, most notably her five steals vs. Western Illinois. Her importance as a team-leader and overall dominating player during her time as a Roo is perhaps best shown in the confidence Head Coach Candace Whitaker showed in both her talent and overall fitness on the court. As a result, O’Connor has tallied 38 minutes on two occasions in important games for the Roos.
In the classroom, O’Connor is also a hard-working and professional figure who is majoring in pre-dentistry. Hailing from San Francisco, California, she is the daughter of Mike and Katie O’Connor and has one brother Denis. There is no doubt her family can be proud of her efforts at UMKC as she continues to flourish both on and off the court. She has been part of the women’s basketball program, which has consistently progressed since her recruitment from St. Ignatius Prep High School in the fall of 2009.
Eilise will be back in action against Eastern Michigan on Dec. 9 in Ypsilanti, Mich. so watch our in-form basketball star as she continues to smash her own personal records this reason.