RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The UMKC men’s basketball team (8-16, 3-6 WAC) got a career high 10 rebounds from Marvin Nesbitt Jr., and a team-high 17 points from Rob Whitfield, but couldn’t overcome a strong second half from California Baptist (13-10, 5-5 WAC) tonight in the 70-60 loss at the CBU Events Center. The Roos were without leading scorer Xavier Bishop, who sat out with an injured ankle.
Trailing by just one, 31-30, heading into the second half, UMKC got out-scored 39-30 in the final 20 minutes. The first two minutes out of the locker room doomed the Roos. UMKC had a pair of turnovers, compared to Cal Baptist scoring six quick points. One of Whitfield’s five 3-pointers brought the Roos back to a 37-33 count, but the hosts led by at least five points the rest of the way.
Jordan Giles, who came off the bench to score 15 points, put UMKC up 11-6 at the 11:23 mark of the first half with a lay-up. That was the largest lead either team had in the first half. But CBU’s Milan Acquaah capped a 10-2 run with a trifecta and the Lancers were up 16-13. Whitfield single-handedly kept the Roos in the game with three bombs before a Giles bucket in the paint tied the game at 30.
A De’jon Davis free throw with 1:16 remaining was the final score and the Lancers led 31-30 at the half.
“I thought Acquaah and (Jordan) Heading made tough shots in crucial times of the game which game their team energy,” said UMKC head coach Kareem Richardson.
The duo combined for 46 points for the Lancers, which amounted to 24 from Heading and 22 from the WAC’s leading scorer Acquaah. They attempted 19 three-pointers and made six of them.
Hitting 5 of 8 shots from long range, Whitfield finished with his third 10-plus point effort in his last four games. Jordan Giles posted 15 points on 6 of 10 shooting. Nesbitt Jr., grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds to go along with eight points.
CBU held a slight edge in field goal percentage (45.0 – 43.1) and rebounding (34-31).
- The Roos come back home to Swinney Center for the first time in nearly three weeks as they host league-leader Grand Canyon on Thursday, Feb. 14 at 6 p.m. CST.
- With a 5 for 8 showing from long range, Rob Whitfield now has nailed at least five treys in four games this year.
- Whitfield pushed his season total to 65 three-pointers. He is 20 away from tying the UMKC season record of 85 treys.
- The 10 rebounds by Nesbitt Jr., is the most by a Roo since Danny Dixon grabbed 10 against Avila on Nov. 24, 2018.
- California Baptist evens the all-time series at 1-1.
- The Roos drop to 7-4 in games played on Saturday this year. In all other days of the week, they are 1-12.
- By losing the turnover battle 11-5, UMKC has more turnovers than the opponent for just the sixth time this year (out of 24 games). At one stretch earlier this year, the Roos went 14-straight games wither equal or fewer turnovers.