(Sioux Falls, S.D.) - The Kansas City men's basketball squad saw its season end on Sunday night in the Summit League Tournament, dropping a 69-58 decision to third-seeded North Dakota State.
The sixth-seeded 'Roos (8-24) held a three-point halftime lead, but NDSU (23-8) used a rally in the early part of the final stanza to take control, and eventually advance to the semifinals to face Western Illinois Monday night.
The first period saw both teams put out a strong defensive effort, but it started in favor of the Bison. They jumped out to a 12-7 lead in the first eight minutes, the largest lead for either team in the half.
Kansas City made its run late in the stanza, scoring seven straight points over a two minute stretch to go ahead by a 20-17 score with 1:49 on the clock. Trinity Hall, who was playing with a heavy heart after the passing of his father the night before, was key in the rally, giving UMKC its first lead with a couple free throws and following with a fast break layup to cap the run.
UMKC would carry that lead into the break at 22-19, thanks in part to forcing 11 NDSU turnovers and out-scoring the Bison bench 15-0. The 'Roos shot 30.4 percent, while North Dakota State hit 41.2 percent and had a 19-12 rebound edge. UMKC made only two turnovers along with seven assists.
The final period saw the offenses pick up, and UMKC extended its lead to five in the opening minutes on a couple occasions, but NDSU took over from there. The Bison rallied for a 17-3 run over the next six minutes to take control at 38-29 with 11:04 on the clock. Each of NDSU's leading scorers; Taylor Braun, Lawrence Alexander and Marshall Bjorklund, were huge with multiple buckets during the spurt.
The 'Roos never got back in it as the Bison pushed their lead to 14 with 8:10 remaining. The closest UMKC got from there was nine points.
North Dakota State scored 50 points in the final half, 24 of which came from Braun. Bjorklund finished with a double-double of 18 points and 10 boards, while Alexander had 14. As a team the Bison shot 62.5 percent in the second half, and turned it over only three times.
Hall was the only player in double figures for UMKC, but he matched a season-high with 14 points. Estan Tyler tallied seven assists as well. The 'Roos shot 38 percent for the game, and were out-rebounded by 10. Their bench out-scored NDSU's 31-4, but in the end it was the 53.7 percent shooting by the Bison that proved to be the difference.