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UMKC Defense Keys Comeback Victory at UTRGV, 73-60
UMKC Athletics 2-4-2017
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EDINBURG, Texas – UMKC (12-13, 4-4) outscored UT Rio Grande Valley (10-15, 2-6) 42-18 in the second half as the Roos erased a 16-point deficit in a 73-60 victory on Saturday night at the UTRGV Fieldhouse. Kyle Steward (Detroit, Mich.) recorded a double-double with 20 points and a career-high 14 rebounds to lead the Roos. Broderick Newbill (Kansas City, Mo.) notched his sixth straight double figures scoring output with 12 points, including multiple clutch baskets during the comeback.

For the second time in nine days, UMKC erased a double-digit halftime deficit to earn a victory. The Roos came back from 12 down at half against Grand Canyon on Jan. 26.

“It was an excellent second half,” head coach Kareem Richardson said. “We held them to 18 points in the second half. Since I’ve been here, in a half defensively, that’s the best – not one of – but the best half of defense that we’ve played since I’ve been here.”

Steward scored 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the second half. His double-double was the first for the Roos this season. He was 5-for-14 from the floor for the game and 8-of-10 from the foul line.

“In the second half, he was a man amongst boys, especially on the rebounding,” Richardson said. “He was getting  it seemed like virtually every defensive rebound for us. He played his rear end off.”

After trailing 42-31 at halftime, UMKC opened the second half on an 11-3 run, highlighted by a highlight-reel follow slam by Dashawn King (Bronx, N.Y.) to cut the deficit to 45-39 with 16:46 remaining.

The Roos continued to cut the deficit, pulling within one at 51-50 following two straight Newbill layups. Newbill tied the game at 55 with 8:33 left and King’s lay-in with 8:00 on the clock gave UMKC its first lead since being ahead 8-7 with 13:43 left in the first half. The Roos went on a 10-0 run over 2:15 to grab a 63-55 lead, despite LaVell Boyd (Chicago, Ill.) being on the bench with four fouls.

In the second half alone, UMKC limited UTRGV to 19 percent (5-for-26) shooting from the floor and a 13 percent (1-for-8) mark from beyond the arc. The Roos shot 47 percent (14-for-30) from the field and 83 percent (10-for-12) at the foul line over the final 20 minutes to seal the victory.

Boyd finished with 10 points and six assists. He was 7-for-8 from the free throw line.

For the game, UMKC shot 42 percent (22-for-52) from the floor and 79 percent (22-for-28) from the foul line.

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– UMKC –

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