(Kansas City, Mo.) - The Kansas City men's basketball team had to face one of the top presses in the nation on Saturday, going up against No. 5 Louisville and turning it over 24 times on the way to a 99-47 loss.
The Cardinals (8-1) got a career-high 31 points from guard Russ Smith, and they turned the 'Roos turnovers into 35 points. Kansas City (4-5) got off to a rough start in the contest, turning it over nine times in the first nine minutes to trail by a 30-9 score. The 'Roos never quit though, and went on a 12-4 run to cut it down to 34-21 with 6:26 on the clock.
UL came right back though, and went into the break with a 25-point lead after a shot at the buzzer went in, making it 53-28. The Cardinals shot 60.6 percent in the opening period, and forced 16 Kansas City turnovers. The 'Roos hit 40 percent from the floor, including a team-high eight points from junior Nelson Kirksey.
The second stanza was all Cardinals though, as the 'Roos hit only 14.8 percent of its shots while UL drilled 51.5 percent. UMKC did do better in the turnover department though, making only eight miscues.
Louisville had the advantage to 80-34 by the 11:15 mark in the final period, and coasted from there. Kansas City continued to play hard though, and made some nice hustle plays down the stretch. The margin ended up being 52, the second-worst loss in school history.
Kirksey and junior forward Trinity Hall tied for the team lead with nine points apiece. Kirksey also had a team-best six rebounds in a game that saw the home team come away with a 47-33 advantage on the glass.
Smith's 31 on 12-of-18 shooting led the Cardinals, while Luke Hancock had 15 and Montrezl Harrell put up 14. Smith and Harrell each had seven boards as well.
Kansas City will start a three-game home stand with Appalachian State next Sunday at 1:05 p.m.