(Uncasville, Conn.) - A three-pointer at the buzzer fell just short as the Kansas City men's basketball team dropped a 62-59 decision to Albany on Saturday at the Mohegan Sun Arena in game two of the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Tip-Off. The 'Roos will play on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. CT in the consolation game of the Springfield bracket against Norfolk State.
UMKC (1-2) fell behind early in the contest by an 11-5 margin, but kept it close thanks to junior guard Nate Rogers and sophomore guard Estan Tyler. The two spurred a 12-4 run, capped by a three from junior forward Kirk Korver to give the 'Roos a two-point lead with 8:13 to play in the half.
The two switched leads a few more times the rest of the way, but back-to-back threes from Alton Tanner and Rogers with 3:41 on the clock put the score at 25-21 in favor of Kansas City. The 'Roos went into the half with a 26-23 lead, thanks in part to an 11-4 advantage in points off turnovers, forcing 10 from the Great Danes (3-1).
Neither team shot the ball well, with UMKC hitting 32.1 percent and UA shooting 33.3 percent. The 'Roos also had a 19-13 advantage in rebounding. Tyler had a game-high eight points, while Rogers tallied seven. Rogers also guarded UA leading scorer Mike Black, holding him to four points in the period.
The second stanza saw the 'Roos push their lead to five on the first possession, but a 9-0 rally over the next six-plus minutes gave the lead back to Albany. The Great Danes turned up the pressure on defense in the half, holding UMKC without a field goal until the 12:37 mark. The field goal was a three from Korver, pulling it to within one. Korver scored 10 of the first 12 points of the half for Kansas City.
Albany got a boost in the period from their two leading scorers, especially guard Jacob Iati. He hit a three at the 8:09 mark to push the Danes lead to 10. Black also got into the scoring mix in the final half, mostly from the free throw line. With 5:13 left, it was an 11-point lead for UA. The Great Danes would only score from that line the rest of the way as UMKC rallied.
A three-pointer from Tyler with 1:41 left cut the lead to five, while a dunk from Fred Chatmon made it a two point game with 45 second on the clock. UA's Iati hit his next five charity tosses, but missed one with 15 seconds left to give the ball to the 'Roos down only three.
UMKC was fouled with six seconds on the clock, but Tyler hit both free throw to cut it to one. On the in-bounds pass the 'Roos fouled Iati again, and he hit both shots to give the ball to the 'Roos with four seconds left. The three-point attempt by Thomas Staton was off the mark though, sending the Great Danes to the Springfield bracket championship game Sunday against Loyola.
The 'Roos were led by Tyler with a career-high 17 points, while Korver had 16 and Rogers put up 10. Chatmon was the leading rebounder, matching his career-high at eight. The Great Danes finished with a 31-30 advantage in rebounds, and shot 47.6 percent in the final half. Iati tallied a game-high 24, while Black had 16. The two were a combined 19-of-22 from the line. UMKC shot 34.6 percent in the game.