(Kansas City, Mo.) - The Kansas City men's basketball team couldn't get a good look in the final 27 seconds against Southeast Missouri State, and saw one shot blocked, followed by a guarded second attempt, and fell in a 66-65 heartbreaker on Saturday afternoon.
The Redhawks (8-6) got two free throws from Tyler Stone with 28 seconds on the clock to take the lead. He grabbed the offensive board off a missed jumper, and was fouled to get to the line. On the previous possession, Kansas City (4-8) took the lead on a three-pointer from junior forward Kirk Korver with 42 seconds left.
SEMO jumped out to a 9-3 lead in the opening four minutes and led the rest of the half, getting a strong inside performance from Stone, who paced the Redhawks with 12 points. The 'Roos cut the score to one on one occasion, and to two several times, but the Redhawks answered each with a bucket.
A Thomas Staton jumper with 3:43 left in the half sliced the margin to 23-21, but SEMO scored the game's next seven points to have its biggest lead of the day with 1:27 left in the period. The Redhawks would take a 32-24 advantage into the break.
The 'Roos shot only 30 percent in the half, while SEMO tallied 48 percent shooting. Nate Rogers paced UMKC with seven points at the half.
The second period started quickly for Southeast Missouri State, pushing the margin to as many as 11 within the first five minutes, but Kansas City fought back, chipping away at the advantage. A 13-4 run that spanned the next three minutes cut the advantage to only two, led by two threes from Staton during the rally.
The Redhawks managed to keep the 'Roos at bay, even getting the lead to six on a Corey Wilford layup with 9:14 on the clock, but UMKC kept battling. A three from Rogers, followed by an old-fashioned three-point play from junior forward Fred Chatmon tied the game at 53 with 8:18 left. After a stop on the other end, Kansas City took its first lead of the game on a Chatmon lay-up with 7:36 on the clock.
The two squads traded the lead five times over the final six minutes, but the final exchange wasn't in favor of the 'Roos on the last possession, extending the losing streak to four and ending the home stand without the taste of victory.
Stone finished with a game-high 28 points for SEMO, while Wilford chipped in with 15. Kansas City got its second double-double from Chatmon, who had 11 points, and matched a career-high with 13 rebounds. Rogers led the team with 14 points, while Staton had 13. Estan Tyler had a career-best nine assists for the 'Roos as well, committing only one turnover.
It was the first time in the last 10 games that the 'Roos posted a positive assist-to-turnover ratio, but it couldn't overcome 34.9 percent shooting in the end, as SEMO hit 46.2 percent.
Kansas City will head back on the road for another match-up with a Big 12 team on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. when it faces the Wildcats of Kansas State in Manhattan.