(Cedar City, Utah) - UMKC was held to only eight points over the first 17:42 of the second period, as Southern Utah flipped the script after a first half that was all Kangaroos on Thursday night at The Centrum, giving the home squad a 57-47 win.
The Kangaroos (9-14, 3-8 SL) played their most impressive first half of the season on the defensive end, holding Southern Utah (11-10, 6-5 SL) to only 20 points. It was back and forth in the opening 11 minutes with the T-birds holding a narrow 15-13 lead, but UMKC locked it down from there. Over the final nine minutes, the 'Roos went on a 20-5 rally, and took a 33-20 lead into the break.
It was the fewest points the 'Roos allowed in a half all season, and its largest halftime lead in Summit League play this season.
UMKC held SUU to only 36.8 percent from the floor, and forced nine turnovers in the period, while hitting 52.2 percent on offense. Senior guard Reggie Chamberlain, along with sophomore forward Kirk Korver, out-scored the T-birds on their own combining for 21 points (11 for Chamberlain, 10 for Korver). UMKC had a 9-to-4 assist-to-turnover ratio as well.
SUU started the second half on a 13-1 run, and the 'Roos didn't get their first field goal until the 11:16 mark on a layup by Korver. With 8:15 left, Southern Utah had the lead by a 40-38 margin, and with 2:59 on the clock, it was a 12-point lead, capping a 33-8 rally to start the period.
The 'Roos couldn't get a shot to fall, going 5-of-22 (22.7 percent) from the floor in the final stanza, while turning it over 10 times and dishing out only two assists.
The Thunderbirds, however, were just the opposite. They shot 56.5 percent from the floor, and had a 12-to-3 assist-to-turnover ratio, with six blocked shots. They tallied 37 points in the period, while holding the 'Roos to just 14.
The 13-point lead was the largest in a loss this season for the 'Roos, while the 14 points scored was the second fewest in the final period all year. SUU also finished the game with a 33-23 rebound edge.
Chamberlain finished with a team-best 17 points, while Korver tallied 12. Southern Utah was paced by Ray Jones, Jr. with 18 points, leading four players in double-figures. The SUU starters each played at least 33 minutes in the contest.
Next up, UMKC heads to Tulsa, Oklahoma for a game with league-leading Oral Roberts on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m.