Roos Take Down Cougars in WAC Opener
UMKC Athletics 1-5-2019
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Brandon McKissic hit nine of 12 shots and scored a season-high 21 points to lead UMKC to a 80-72 win over Chicago State on Saturday afternoon in the Western Athletic Conference opener for both teams inside the Swinney Recreation Center.
UMKC pulled away in the final nine minutes to capture its first home conference game played in Swinney since Feb. 23, 2013. The Roos improved to 3-3 in WAC openers, matching a 3-3 mark in home openers in WAC play.

"I certainly could feel the energy in a more intimate environment," said UMKC head coach Kareem Richardson about the Swinney home court advantage. "We would certainly love to build on that for conference play. When our students come back to campus later this month, if the #PouchofOuch (student section) gets more packed, that would be awesome."

McKissic scored 15 points in the first half and missed just one of eight shots, guiding the Roos to a 38-36 lead at intermission. UMKC used a 14-0 run to turn a one-point deficit into a 29-16 lead at the 9:03 mark of the first half. However, Chicago State tied the game on a jumper by Cameron Bowles with 46 seconds left in the opening frame before a tip-in by McKissic in the final moments restored the advantage.

With the teams tied and 9:20 remaining, McKissic converted another tip-in to push the Roos in front, 59-57, sparking a seven-point spurt. After missing his first 11 shots of the game, Xavier Bishop canned a straightaway three-pointer to finish the stretch, the first of his 12 points over the final eight minutes of the game.

"I thought our guys stuck with it and hung in there," said Richardson. "Especially with Xavier, who didn't play well for probably about 25 minutes, but he came on late. So, that was very positive and I'm proud of the guys for sticking with it."

The Roos took advantage of a solid outing from the bench and a strong showing at the free throw line to claim its first win of the 2019 calendar year. Jamel Allen scored 16 of the team's 25 points off the bench, hitting three of five three-point shots to go along with a team-best six rebounds and two steals. The Roos hit 25 of 32 (.781) at the charity stripe and yielded just 10 total attempts to the Cougars.

Anthony Harris led Chicago State with 17 points, seven rebounds and five assists, while Christian Jacob (16 points), Rob Shaw (15) and Travon Bell (12) each recorded double-figure point totals.

Quick Hitters

  • Trailing 57-56 at the 10:16 mark of the game, UMKC uses an 24-15 run to win its conference opener.
  • Brandon McKissic's career high is 23, done against Chicago State on March 3, 2018.
  • The starting combo of Bishop, Whitfield, McKissic, Giles and Leek were again the starters for the eighth-straight game. Thus far, these starters are 5-3 after today’s win.
  • Xavier Bishop entered today tied for second in the WAC in scoring (16.3). After just two points at the half, he finished with 14, which marks the 13th-straight game of hitting 10-or-more points.
  • Two of the top five assist play-makers in the conference were in action: Chicago State’s Rob Shaw (5.5 – 1st) and Xavier Bishop (4.5 – tied-4th). Shaw finished with eight helpers, while Bishop had three.
  • Rob Whitfield had his streak of nailing at least one trey halted. Going 0 for 3 from three-point range, this is the first game this year (out of 16) in which he did not hit a bomb.
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