CHICAGO -- The UMKC (10-20, 5-10 WAC) men’s basketball team wraps up its regular season with a road contest at Chicago State (3-27, 0-15 WAC) on Saturday at 2 p.m. CST. The Roos face a Cougar squad that has lost 19 games in-a-row. UMKC has claimed success against Chicago State, winning eight out of the last nine meetings.
- Up Next - The Roos qualified for the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Championship, scheduled for March 14-16 in Las Vegas. The Blue and Gold will await the announcement from the conference office on its official seeding, which will occur late Saturday after the regular-season games have been completed.
- Conference Race - In the nine-team Western Athletic Conference standings, UMKC is seventh with a 5-10 mark, while Chicago State is in ninth place with a 0-15 record. Since California Baptist is a first-year WAC member and is not eligible for the WAC Championship, all of the other eight teams qualify for the postseason tournament. New Mexico State wrapped up the top-seed in the conference tournament for the second-consecutive year and fourth time in five years.
- WAC Championship - The WAC Championship will play out at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, March 14-16. The top eight teams qualify in the single-elimination event with two men’s games scheduled on March 14. If the season ended today, the Roos would be the No. 6 seed (due to California Baptist not postseason eligible) and play the No. 3 seed -- either Utah Valley or Grand Canyon -- at 8:30 p.m. PST on March 14.
- 1,000-point milestone - With 15 points in the game against New Mexico State on Feb. 28th, junior guard Xavier Bishop became the 12th Roo to establish 1,000 career points as he now has 1,014. He passed Spencer Johnson (2007-11) on the UMKC list. Bishop looks to move past Lavell Boyd (2015-17), who had 1,065 points.
- Last time out - UMKC’s lone senior Aleer Leek scored a season-high 11 points as the UMKC men’s basketball team dropped a heart breaker 75-70 in a Western Athletic Conference contest to UTRGV (18-14, 9-6) on March 2 at Swinney Center. The Roos would go on to stretch the lead to as many as 12, before heading into the locker room with a 10-point advantage at 40-30. UMKC maintained its lead throughout the second half, again stretching its lead to a game-high 12 with just over six minutes remaining in the contest. The Roos continued to lead until the 1:46 mark when the Vaqueros tied the game at 68-68. The score would remained tied at 70-70 with just over a minute left, but the Roos would come up empty down the stretch.
- A win against Chicago State means... hand UMKC its first road conference win of the year and move to 1-7 in WAC road games... improve to 16-7 in road games against Chicago State... head to 9-6 in games played on Saturday this year... better their series history record against the Cougars to 36-13 all-time... stand with a 11-20 overall season record, which would exceed last year’s season total of 10 wins... move to 6-10 in the WAC and surpass the conference win total of last year (5-9).
- Series History with Chicago State - UMKC holds a commanding 35-13 record against the Cougars in the all-time series. Saturday marks the 49th all-time meeting. The Roos are also 15-7 on the road in the series winning three of the last four away contests. In the last 10 meetings, UMKC is 8-2.
- Previous meeting with Chicago State - On Jan. 5, 2019, UMKC’s Brandon McKissic hit nine of 12 shots and scored a season-high 21 points to lead the Roos to an 80-72 win over Chicago State in the league opener for both teams inside the Swinney 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. 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.
- Scouting the Opponent - The Chicago State Cougars (3-27, 0-15 WAC) are looking to snap a 19-game losing streak on Saturday. The last win was on Dec. 6, 2018 against NAIA opponent Trinity Christian by an 84-82 score. Rob Shaw is the engine behind the scoring as he averages 5.1 assists per game, which is 62nd in the NCAA. He also puts in 10.3 points per game, which is third on the team. Anthony Harris is the club leader in scoring (13.8 ppg) and steals (37), while he is second to Christian Jacob in rebounding with 5.4 per contest.