KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC men’s basketball team will hit the road for the first time since Jan. 13 for a pair of contests at Grand Canyon and CSU Bakersfield to continue Western Athletic Conference play.
UMKC Roos (6-17, 1-5 WAC) vs. Grand Canyon Lopes (15-7, 4-2 WAC) | CSU Bakersfield (8-13, 1-5 WAC)
Dates & Times: Feb. 1, 8 p.m. CT | Feb. 3, 9 p.m. CT
Locations: Phoenix, Ariz. | Bakersfield, Calif.
Site: GCU Arena (7,200) | Icardo Center (3,497)
Live Stats: www.UMKCstats.com
Live TV (GCU): KSMO-TV | Neil Harwell & Joel Goldberg
Live Stream: ESPN3 (GCU) | WAC Digital Network (CSUB)
Grand Canyon: Men’s Basketball Homepage
CSU Bakersfield: Men’s Basketball Homepage
Live In-Game Updates: @UMKCmbb
In UMKC’s 62-59 conference victory over CSU Bakersfield on Jan. 18, sophomore Xavier Bishop drained his first college career game-winning 3-pointer to give the Roos their first WAC win. The guard currently leads the team on the court, averaging 12.1 points per game.
Despite falling to the Aggies on Saturday, Aleer Leek continued to make an impact on the defensive end, grabbing a career high 10 rebounds. The junior also has the fifth-most blocks in the league with 26, averaging 1.1 per game this season.
UMKC overcame a 16-point deficit for a 79-77 victory at USC Upstate on Jan. 2, led by a 21-point game from Isaiah Ross and 20-point performance from Broderick Robinson. It marked the third time in four outings that Ross tabulated at least 20 points, while it was Robinson’s third 20-point game of the season.
In the Roos game at Incarnate Word on Dec. 16, UMKC blocked 10 shots as a team - just one shy of the program record of 11 that was set against Nicholls State in 1991.
In UMKC’s 65-55 win at UT Martin on Nov. 26, Ross became the first Roo since standout LaVell Boyd against South Dakota in 2015 to connect on 10-plus field goals in a single game.
As a team, the Roos are shooting just under 70 percent from the free throw line, with Ross and Robert Knar shooting better than 75 percent at the charity stripe. In UMKC’s victory at USC Upstate on Jan. 2, 11 of Jordan Giles’ 15 points came at the free throw line. The Roos shot a season-high 84.6 percent from the charity stripe at Seattle U on Jan. 13 after only shooting only 50 percent in the conference opener at UTRGV on Jan. 6.
The Roos are averaging 6.8 steals per game, compared to their opponents at 5.4 per contest. Robinson leads the team and the WAC with 36 on the year, while Marco Smith has 22 and Bishop has 18.
Giles currently leads the Roos in scoring during WAC play, averaging 11.8 points per contest. The sophomore missed the previous meetings with Grand Canyon and CSU Bakersfield due to injury, but is now healthy for the Roos.
Kareem Richardson’s troop features six returning letterwinners and welcomes nine newcomers this season. The Roos will look to the senior leadership of Robinson, as UMKC lost all five of its starters from 2016-17. Robinson, along with Bishop played in all 35 games for the Roos last season, while Ross made an appearance in 34 contests. Richardson enters his fifth year at the helm of the Roos program.
– UMKC –