(Fort Wayne, Ind.) - For the first time in school history, the UMKC men's basketball team tasted victory on the road at IPFW, taking an 81-66 win at Memorial Auditorium in the Summit League opener for both teams.
The Kangaroos (4-4, 1-0 SL) also moved to 1-0 in the league for the first time under head coach Matt Brown (first overall since 2006-07). The 'Roos also put together their first three-game win streak since Jan. 20-to-27 of last season. Also, the 15-point victory margin was the biggest on the road in conference play during the tenure of Brown (largest since Feb. 22, 2007 at Western Illinois, 89-54).
The game started well for IPFW (2-3, 0-1 SL) as it scored the game's first eight points and led by that margin with 17:26 to play. The 'Roos fought back thanks to senior guard Reggie Chamberlain though, as he scored the next seven points to cut it to one just a couple minutes later. The Mastodons held on to the small margin until the 10:24 mark when sophomore forward Kirk Korver hit a jumper to make it 18-17 in favor of the 'Roos.
The lead changed hands twice more over the next three minutes, but UMKC took control after a 12-0 rally to make it 31-24 with 5:48 left. Four different players scored in the run with the 'Roos getting five of those from Chamberlain. Sophomore guard Nate Rogers gave UMKC a five point lead (40-35) at the break though, hitting a three at the buzzer.
The Mastodons stayed in it thanks to leading scorer Frank Gaines, who put up 17 first period points, while Chamberlain tallied 14. The 'Roos hit 57.7 percent in the period, but were out-rebounded 19-11.
The Kangaroos never trailed in the final stanza, staving off a run from the Mastodons in the early part of the period thanks to three-pointers on back-to-back possessions from freshman guard Estan Tyler. At the 11:26 mark, Michael Gholston hit the second of two threes to push the advantage to 13. The closest IPFW would get the rest of the way was seven, as the Mastodons were forced to start fouling UMKC with just under three minutes to play.
UMKC finished the game hitting 60 percent from the field, while IPFW was at 40.9 percent. The problem area was rebounding though, as the Mastodons pulled down 22 offensive boards compared to the Kangaroos' 21 defensive boards. The total rebound margin was 40-21. UMKC also hit 17-of-21 from the line, while IPFW was 4-of-6.
Chamberlain finished with 21 points, his third consecutive game with more than 20. He also extended his consecutive free-throws made streak to 22, dating back to Utah Valley. Senior guard Dustin Dibble put up double-digits for the second game in a row with 13, while Tyler and Gholston each had 10, season highs for both.
UMKC will head to Rochester, Mich. on Saturday for a battle with defending league champion Oakland at 5:00 p.m. (Central).