OREM, Utah -- On Saturday, the UMKC (10-17, 5-7 WAC) men’s basketball team invades the UCCU Center on the campus of Utah Valley (18-8, 7-4 WAC) for a start time of 8 p.m. CST. The Roos, despite a six-point halftime lead, fell at Seattle U on Thursday by a 69-64 score. Meanwhile, Utah Valley won its fifth game in six attempts, courtesy of a 103-71 blow-out of Chicago State Thursday.
- Conference Race - In the nine-team Western Athletic Conference standings, UMKC is seventh, just .5-game behind California Baptist and 2.0-games behind fourth-place teams UT Rio Grande Valley and CSU Bakersfield. Utah Valley is in the third spot, 1.0-game back of second-place Grand Canyon.
- WAC Championship - There are four games remaining in the regular season before the WAC Championship at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, March 14-16. The top eight teams qualify in the single-elimination event with four games scheduled on March 14. If the season ended today, the Roos would be the No. 7 seed and play No. 2 Grand Canyon at 6 p.m. PST on March 14.
- Up Next - The Roos come home for their final home stand of the regular season. On Feb. 28, New Mexico State visits Swinney Center with the game televised live on ESPN+. Then, UT Rio Grande Valley competes against UMKC on March 2. Both games tip at 6 p.m. CST.
- Last time out - The UMKC men’s basketball team (10-17, 5-7) dropped a tightly contested match-up at Seattle U (14-12, 2-9), 69-64, on Thursday night at the Redhawk Center. The Roos had three shots from long range to tie or take the lead with under 30 seconds left in the contest, but were unable to connect as Seattle U picked up the home victory. Brandon Suggs led UMKC, as the sophomore posted career-highs of 11 points and 13 rebounds for his first career double-double. Xavier Bishop, meanwhile, paced the Roos in scoring with 14 points, while Jamel Allen was the final Kangaroo in double figures with 13 points.
- A win at Utah Valley means... the Roos first road WAC victory of the year (0-6 heading into Saturday) and first since Feb. 22, 2018 when UMKC took down UTRGV in Edinburg, Texas by an 83-59 score...improve to 9-11 in the all-time series with Utah Valley... move to 9-4 in games played on Saturday this year. ... with an 11-17 overall record, exceed last year’s season total of 10 wins... move to 6-7 in the WAC and surpass conference win total of last year (5-9).
- Series History with Utah Valley - Utah Valley holds an 11-8 advantage in the overall series, including a 7-1 split in home games. The teams have split evenly the past six contests. The Roos are searching for their first win in Orem, Utah -- and second overall in the series -- since Jan. 31, 2015.
- Previous meeting with Utah Valley - UMKC outscored Utah Valley by eight over the first 10 minutes of the second half, but could get no closer than two as the Wolverines (14-7, 3-3) picked up a 75-67 win over the Roos (7-13, 2-3) Jan. 24 at Swinney Center. The loss snaps a four-game home winning streak for the Roos. Brandon McKissic had a look at a three with 1:47 on the clock that would have evened the game at 66-66, but the sophomore was just off and Utah Valley would salt the game away at the free throw line. The Wolverines connect on 7 of 8 from the foul line in the game’s final moments.
- Scouting the Opponent - Utah Valley is 10-1 at the UCCU Center with the only loss to New Mexico State (83-78) on Jan. 19, 2019. Overall, the Wolverines have won five of six games. They are led by Jake Toolson who is tops in scoring (16.5) and 3-pointer’s made (54 of 113), second (tied) in rebounding (4.4) and second field goal percentage (.563) amongst the starters. Brother Conner Toolson nets 12.5 per game and is the team leader in steals (39). As a team, Utah Valley ranks first in the WAC in field goal percentage (.489), 3-point percentage (tie) (.386) and second in points (77.9 ppg).