ESTERO, Fla. – The UMKC men’s basketball team (2-5) fought back from a 15-point deficit in the second half against the Penn Quakers (4-3) on Wednesday evening, but fell short, closing the three-day intense Gulf Coast Showcase with a 68-65 loss.
Penn opened the game on a 10-0 run behind four field goals – two from long distance. Coming out of the first media timeout, UMKC’s Marco Smith (Kansas City, Kan.) found Xavier Bishop (Springfield, Ill.) in the corner, who buried his first three-pointer for the third-consecutive game. A jumper by Smith, followed by a 3-point basket by Marvin Nesbitt Jr. (Chicago, Ill.), helped kick start an 8-0 run by the Roos bench.
UMKC went nearly two minutes without a basket before a shot laid in by Isaiah Ross (Davenport, Iowa) ended the scoring drought. Fouls committed by the Roos played a part in Penn’s ability to make it to the free throw line and take a 26-17 lead at the midway point.
Broderick Robinson (Grand Junction, Colo.) drained his second 3-pointer of the game coming out of the final media break. The Quakers took their largest lead of the half – 11 points – with less than three minutes in the opening 20 minutes. Nesbitt Jr. led UMKC on the boards, matching his career-high, with five rebounds.
The Roos stepped up their defense in the second half, forcing a 10-second call on Penn within the first minute of action. At the other end of the court, Jordan Giles (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) converted a three-point play before Bishop knocked one down from the top of the lane to make it a four-point game, forcing Penn’s head coach to burn a timeout in the opening minutes.
Nesbitt Jr. grabbed his career-high sixth defensive rebound of the game, outlet it to Bishop, who then found Robinson. The senior knocked in the basket to bring the Roos within two. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Penn make it a 45-37 game approaching the midway point of the second half.
The Quakers went on an 11-4 run to take a 15-point lead – their largest of the game – at the 8:55 mark to hold the 56-41 advantage over UMKC. A basket from downtown by Robinson crushed Penn’s momentum, as the Roos forced back-to-back Quaker turnovers with a layup by Robert Knar (Mundelein, Ill.), courtesy of a Bishop assist – in between.
It was the Knar and Bishop show, as the two found each other again. This time it was Knar finding Bishop behind the 3-point arc, as the Roos brought Penn’s lead back down to single digits.
The Quakers hit their next three jump shots to extend the lead back out to 11. Knar hit another shot, while Bishop buried his career-high third 3-pointer of the game. Giles stepped up to the free throw line and knocked in a pair to bring the Roos within six points with just under three minutes remaining. A defensive stop at the other end, and a wide-open three-point basket for Ross – helped continue UMKC’s fight.
The Roos would get a pair of looks in the final minute, but Penn held on for the 68-65 victory in the third and final game of the Gulf Coast Showcase.
Bishop fell three points shy of a career high, tallying 18 points to go along with a career-high six rebounds and three steals. The sophomore guard also went a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line. Robinson led all scorers with 18 points, making it the fourth-consecutive game that the senior has hit double figures.
The Roos will hit the road for a contest at UT-Martin on Sunday, before hosting South Dakota at Swinney Recreation Center on UMKC’s campus on Nov. 30. Tickets for the Roos game against the Coyotes are still available by visiting the UMKC website or calling 844-UMKC-FAN.
– UMKC –