(Dayton, Ohio) - The Kansas City men's basketball squad ran into a tough defensive team in Wright State on Saturday, and was held to its lowest point total of the season in a 61-49 road loss.
“I thought we defended well in the second half, but we had too many peaks and valleys on the offensive end,” Head Coach Kareem Richardson said. “We have to play desperately like we did in the second half all the time.”
The ‘Roos (3-8) struggled early in the contest with turnovers, and the Raiders (7-7) took advantage, jumping to a 24-14 lead in the first 12:40. WSU scored 11 points off 10 Kangaroo turnovers to that point. Kansas City settled down from there, making only one miscue the rest of the half, but it could only get the margin down to six.
The Raiders closed the half on a mini run though, thanks to a foul on a three at the buzzer. Matt Vest hit two of his free throws to go into the half up 34-24. Fred Chatmon led the ‘Roos with five points, while JT Yoho led WSU with 11 on 3-of-4 shooting from three. The teams combined for 20 turnovers. UMKC shot 40.7 percent, while Wright State hit 52.4 percent.
Wright State put Kansas City in a rough position with a 9-0 run to start the second half, going up by 19 points with 16:44 on the clock. The ‘Roos never gave up though, and after a couple Richardson timeouts, picked up the defensive intensity. UMKC stormed back for a 14-2 run, capped by a Frank Williams three-pointer with 9:38 on the clock to cut the margin to just seven.
The ‘Roos would get it to seven two more times, but each was answered by the Raiders. It was basically a free throw shooting display over the final nine minutes as Williams three was the only field goal for the ‘Roos from the 9:38 mark until only 10 seconds remained. The Raiders didn’t hit a field goal for nearly eight minutes during the same span.
The Raiders got a fastbreak bucket by Cole Darling with 1:59 on the clock that virtually sealed it, making the margin 13. He finished with a game-high 15 points, while Yoho didn’t score in the second half, tallying 11 for the contest.
UMKC had four players finish with eight points in Williams, Chatmon, Trinity Hall, and Martez Harrison. Both teams had 19 turnovers, while Kansas City shot only 34.6 percent in the contest, compared to 43.6 percent for WSU. The Raiders also shot 14 more free throws in the game.
Kansas City will play their final non-conference home game on Saturday against South Dakota State at 7:05 p.m. at Municipal Auditorium.