KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Senior guard LaVell Boyd (Chicago, Ill.) scored 19 points and dished out a career-high eight assists to lead the Roos to an 84-82 victory over a tough South Dakota (6-3) squad on Wednesday night at Municipal Auditorium. The Roos drained 11 shots from beyond the arc and all 11 players who saw action scored points. At 6-2, UMKC equals its best start since the 2001-02 season.
“We’re going to look back on this in March and realize this learning experience is going to be huge for us,” head coach Kareem Richardson said. “These are the types of wins that hopefully we can look back on and say, ‘Hey, that one.’ When we get to conference season, we know there’s going to be a lot of tight battles.”
Boyd gave the Roos the lead for good with a layup with 1:20 remaining and followed that up with a clutch 3-pointer from the corner with 37 seconds left to increase the lead to four as the shot clock was winding down.
“When he released the ball, I was telling the official, ‘Timeout,’” Richardson said. “He’s that type of guy and he’s got tremendous confidence in his game and his shooting ability, and so do I. I thought it hit the top of Municipal with as much arc as it had on it.”
UMKC got off to a hot start offensively in the first half, building a 32-16 lead with 5:49 remaining before halftime, including an 18-0 run over 4:26 that featured 10 points from Boyd. Jordan Giles (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) added five straight points during that span.
A dunk by Duane Clark (St. Louis, Mo.) following a long pass from Boyd again gave the Roos a 16-point lead at 34-18 with 5:07 left before intermission. UMKC led 45-33 at the break.
In the second half, a resilient South Dakota team kept working its way back in the game. The Coyotes pulled within five at 70-65 with 9:09 remaining then cut the deficit to 70-68 with 8:19 left.
Darnell Tillman (St. Louis, Mo.) converted a tip-in with 5:23 remaining to push the UMKC lead back to five at 76-71 before South Dakota mounted another charge. The Coyotes tied the score at 77 on a jumper by Matt Mooney with 2:38 left. Mooney added a free throw shot with 2:12 remaining to give USD its first lead since being ahead 16-14 with 9:40 on the clock in the first half.
Boyd then answered with six straight points to regain an 83-81 lead for the Roos with 37 seconds left. Mooney drained a triple from five feet behind the arc with 28 seconds remaining and then hit a free throw to pull within 83-82 with 14 seconds left before a wild sequence ensued. UMKC’s inbounds pass was stolen by the Coyotes, who then missed two layups before Broderick Robinson (Grand Junction, Colo.) grabbed the rebound and sank a free throw to seal the game.
UMKC shot 47 percent (28-for-60) from the floor and 48 percent (11-for-23) from 3-point range for the game. The Roos have connected on at least 11 triples in each of the last four games and five times in eight contests. UMKC blocked a season-high seven shots, including two each by Clark and Tillman.
Isaiah Ross (Davenport, Iowa) scored a career-high 12 points and sank three triples. Robinson finished with 10 points and two treys.
Mooney led USD with a game-high 23 points while Tyler Flack notched a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
UMKC travels to South Dakota State for an 11 a.m. CT matchup on Saturday in a contest that will air on KSMO-TV in the Kansas City area. It will also be available via live stream on ESPN3 for those outside the television viewing area.
– UMKC –