KANSAS CITY, Mo. – UMKC (1-1) forced 23 turnovers and Martez Harrison (Kansas City, Mo.) scored a game-high 22 points as the Roos earned a 68-62 defeat over Drake (0-2) of the Missouri Valley Conference on Tuesday night at Municipal Auditorium. LaVell Boyd (Chicago, Ill.) added 18 points while Kyle Steward (Detroit, Mich.) chipped in with 13 of his own.
“I thought our guys really defended well tonight,” head coach Kareem Richardson said. “They really set the tone early when we were struggling to score the basketball. It’s definitely important for us to get an early win like this one and against a Missouri Valley opponent like that.”
Early on, both defenses shined as the game remained scoreless for the first three minutes and 44 seconds of action. The Roos took an 11-9 lead on a jumper by Harrison with 8:14 left in the half and would not relinquish the lead.
UMKC went on a 13-0 run over 2:23 and then a 27-8 run over 6:32 during the latter portion of the first half as the lead grew to 16 with 2:14 left before halftime. The Roos held a 37-26 advantage at intermission.
In the second half, Harrison scored 13 of his 22 points. Drake made a run to cut the deficit to 56-52 with four minutes remaining, but that was as close as the Bulldogs would come.
Steward punctuated the victory with an explosive dunk with 39 seconds remaining, giving UMKC an 8-point lead. He also finished with a game-high six rebounds.
In addition to Harrison’s 22 points, he notched three assists, three steals and three rebounds. For his career, he now has 376 assists, which is one shy of tying fellow Kansas City native Quinton Day (2004-07) for the program record.
Boyd and Harrison both connected on three shots from beyond the arc as the senior guard duo combined for 40 points.
For the game, the Roos shot 47 percent (24-for-51) from the floor and 41 percent (11-for-27) from 3-point range. Drake shot 45 percent (23-for-51) from the field, but the Bulldogs were limited to 20 percent (3-for-15) from beyond the arc and only converted 54 percent (13-for-24) from the charity stripe.
UMKC travels to Bowling Green, Ohio, to compete in the Bill Frack Tournament this weekend. The Roos will play the host Falcons at 3 p.m. CT on Saturday in a game that will be available on ESPN3. On Sunday, UMKC plays Murray State at 3 p.m. and will then close the tournament vs. Green Bay at 3 p.m. Monday.
– UMKC –