KANSAS CITY, Mo. – UMKC (7-10, 0-1) men’s basketball played tough against the league favorites from New Mexico State (14-2, 1-0) in a 77-64 loss on Thursday evening at Municipal Auditorium. The Aggies increased their winning streak to 12 games. LaVell Boyd (Chicago, Ill.) led UMKC with 15 points and four rebounds while Kyle Steward (Detroit, Mich.) added eight points and a career-high 12 boards.
“We just didn’t put ourselves in good position to start the game,” head coach Kareem Richardson said. “We’ve got to do a much better job coming out.
“With conference play, there is no time to keep our heads down. We’ve got to move on very, very quickly, a 1-day prep and be ready to roll on Saturday.”
In the first half, NM State shot 52 percent (13-for-25) from the floor and 82 percent (14-for-17) from the foul line as the Aggies took a 43-36 lead to the break. Braxton Huggins scored 20 of his career-high 31 points in the first 20 minutes.
The Roos battled back early in the second half, trimming the deficit to five points at 47-42 on a layup by Steward with 17:24 remaining. That was as close as UMKC would come as the red-hot Aggies shot 50 percent (15-for-30) from the field in the second half.
UMKC shot 39 percent (22-for-57) from the floor and 74 percent (17-for-23) from the free throw line for the game. The Roos connected on only three of 15 attempts from beyond the arc.
On the glass, UMKC outrebounded NM State 34-32 and held a 12-8 advantage in second-chance points.
“I was very pleased overall with both our defensive rebounding and our offensive rebounding,” Richardson said.
Boyd scored in double figures for the 40th time during his 2-year UMKC career and extended his current streak to 16 straight.
Eli Chuha added 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Aggies. Ian Baker finished with 12 points and 10 assists.
UMKC continues Western Athletic Conference play Saturday with a 7:05 p.m. tipoff vs. UT Rio Grande Valley in downtown Kansas City.
– UMKC –