OREM, Utah – The young UMKC men’s basketball team (5-13, 0-2 WAC) turned the ball over, and were unable to contain the Wolverines from behind the 3-point arc, in Thursday night’s 95-59 loss at Utah Valley (13-5, 1-1 WAC).
Utah Valley opened the game with five-straight points, before a 3-pointer from Xavier Bishop (Springfield, Ill.) kick started UMKC’s offense. Going into the first media break, Aleer Leek (Juba, South Sudan) and Isaiah Ross (Davenport, Iowa) each tallied points in the paint, but the Roos trailed 10-7.
Three more Roos – Broderick Robinson (Grand Junction, Colo.), Marvin Nesbitt Jr. (Chicago, Ill.) and Jordan Giles (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) – added points to the board for UMKC, but the Wolverines went 3-of-3 from the field over the next three minutes to take their largest lead of the game – nine points.
Utah Valley continued to stay hot from 3-point land, but Robinson’s second trey of the game at the 7:09-mark helped bring the Roos back into the game. Coming out of the third media timeout of the half, Giles laid in his second bucket of the game before Brandon McKissic (Ferguson, Mo.) made the steal and went coast-to-coast to cut Utah Valley’s lead to 14 points.
Giles trucked through the lane to draw a foul with less than 40 seconds to go in the first half, and converted one of two at the charity stripe, to end a four minutes scoring drought by the Roos. At the half, UMKC trailed 44-27, as Robinson and Giles each had seven points for the Roos and Ross led the team with three rebounds.
A trey at the 17:38-mark of the second half by Robinson lifted the senior to double-digits for the fourth-straight game. Six turnovers by the Roos in a span of 3:36, along with a scoring drought, helped Utah Valley jump out to a 31-point lead.
After going nearly five minutes without a field goal, Steve Dulley (Kansas City, Mo.) checked into the game and banged home a 3-pointer to give some life to UMKC. A missed shot by the Wolverines gave another opportunity for UMKC, as Bishop ran the court and laid it in.
At the midway point of the second half, Robert Knar (Mundelein, Ill.) converted four-straight free throws to lead the team at the line. A pair by Marco Smith (Kansas City, Kan.) as well, helped UMKC improve its percentage at the free throw line after suffering in its last contest against UT Rio Grande Valley.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by McKissic helped end a nearly three-minute scoring drought around the five-minute mark to bring the newcomer to a career-high 11 points. He would finish with 12 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals.
UMKC’s newcomers saw some more playing time tonight, as most of the newcomers neared career-high minutes off of the bench.
UMKC will close its two-game road trip at Seattle U on Saturday at 3 p.m. CT, before returning to Municipal Auditorium for its longest home stand of the season. Tickets for all UMKC home games are available by visiting www.UMKCkangaroos.com or by calling 844-UMKC-FAN.
– UMKC –