(Grand Forks, N.D.) - Kansas City men's basketball held off a late charge and a 25-foot three-pointer to tie the game at the buzzer by North Dakota on Wednesday night, securing a 73-70 road win at the Engelstad Center.
It was the first road win for Kansas City since December 10, 2011 against Southeast Missouri State. It also extended the 'Roos winning streak to four against North Dakota.
The 'Roos (4-4) jumped out to an early 9-4 lead in the first five minutes, but starting point guard Estan Tyler picked up two fouls in the process and played only seven minutes in the period. North Dakota (1-5) took advantage, scoring the game's next 16 points on the way to an 18-9 advantage with 10 minutes on the clock.
Kansas City slowly crept back in though, going on an 8-1 run to get within two. An old-fashioned three-point play by junior forward Nelson Kirksey came after a UND bucket, cutting it down to one with 6:56 remaining. The 'Roos forced a turnover on the defensive end on the next possession, and turned it into points in a big way on offense, as junior guard Nate Rogers drilled a three to give the 'Roos a 23-21 lead. The advantage would change two more times the rest of the way, but Kansas City took a 37-33 lead into the half.
Rogers led the 'Roos with a season-high 13 points at the half, matching his career-mark from long range with 3-of-5 three-pointers. The teams were fairly even statistically with UMKC holding a narrow 19-16 rebound edge. Kansas City shot 46.7 percent, while UND hit 45.8 percent in the half. Jamal Webb led North Dakota with 10 points.
Both teams lit it up in the second half, shooting better than 50 percent each, but Kansas City took a 22-12 advantage on the boards, out-scoring the home team 10-2 in second-chance points.
The first five minutes of the stanza was in favor of the Kangaroos, out-scoring UND 15-9 to get their largest lead of the game at 52-42. After a short run by North Dakota, Kansas City got it back to nine by the 9:49 mark thanks to a dunk from junior center Fred Chatmon.
North Dakota continued to chip away, cutting it to a three-point margin with 2:15 left, and a two-point lead with 1:29 on the clock.
Both teams were off from the free throw line down the stretch, but a big offensive rebound off a UMKC charity miss by Trinity Hall, followed by a make from the line gave the 'Roos a three-point lead with 12 seconds left. UND hit a two on the other end, but Tyler hit both of his free throws with five seconds on the clock to force the hosts to try for a three at the buzzer. The attempt from 25 feet out by Aaron Anderson was off the mark though.
Kansas City had all five starters in double-figures, led by a career-best 16 from Rogers. Thomas Staton continued his solid play with 14 points, while Tyler had 12 and both Kirksey and Chatmon had 10 on the night. Chatmon made it a double-double, securing a career-high 13 rebounds. It was the first double-double for a 'Roo since January 19 of last season (Hall). It was only the second total double-double by a current UMKC player as well.
Jamal Webb led North Dakota with 20 points while Anderson had 11 and Josh Schuler put up 10.
The Kangaroos will continue the road swing with a contest at No. 5 Louisville on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. CT from the KCF Yum! Center. The game will be broadcast exclusively on ESPN3.