KANSAS CITY, Mo. – LaVell Boyd (Chicago, Ill.) scored 28 points, grabbed seven rebounds, dished out seven assists and set the program’s single-season assists record in UMKC’s (18-16) 92-82 victory over Green Bay (18-14) in the College Basketball Invitational Presented by FIVE FOUR Wednesday evening at the Swinney Recreation Center. Five Roos scored in double figures as UMKC shot 50 percent from the field and 57 percent from 3-point range in the first postseason game in the 30-year Division I program history.
“It was a very exciting game,” head coach Kareem Richardson said. “I am really proud of the guys for sticking with it and coming out with a victory.
“It’s all about these guys to have the experience of the postseason and to get the opportunity to do it in front of our home crowd. That was tremendous. It was loud and the energy was awesome out there in Swinney. I just really want to thank a lot of fans for bringing that energy.”
Boyd was joined in double figures by Kyle Steward (Detroit, Mich.) with 20 points, Isaiah Ross (Davenport, Iowa) and Darnell Tillman (St. Louis, Mo.) with 11 and Broderick Newbill (Kansas City, Mo.) with 10.
The Roos finished 28-for-56 from the floor and 13-for-23 from beyond the 3-point arc. Boyd drained five 3-pointers while Ross added treys on three consecutive possessions late in the second half to tie the score at 65, and regain the lead at 68-66 and 71-69. Following the third triple by Ross, the Roos would not trail again for the game’s final 4:59.
Steward followed the 3-point barrage by Ross with consecutive triples of his own to go ahead 78-73 with 3:01 remaining and 81-73 with 2:30 left.
Boyd finished 8-for-13 from the floor, 5-for-7 from 3-point range and 7-for-8 from the free throw line. With seven assists, he established a new single-season program record with 133 dimes on the season, passing the previous mark of 131 set by Quinton Day in 2006-07.
It was a game of runs in a competitive battle. The game was back-and-forth early on before Dashawn King (Bronx, N.Y.) threw down a monster dunk to ignite the near capacity crowd of 1,128. Green Bay answered back to pull ahead 25-21 with 6:47 left before halftime. UMKC then went on a run to close the first half, capped by a long 3-pointer from Boyd to take a 39-35 lead into halftime.
Following the break, the Roos started strong in the second half, pulling ahead 49-41 with 16:19 remaining. The Phoenix came back again, chipping away and regaining the lead at 56-55 with 10:32 left. Boyd immediately answered with a triple 22 seconds later.
Green Bay again came back and led 65-61 with 7:09 to play before Ross caught fire from beyond the arc. His triples on three consecutive possessions gave the Roos a 71-69 advantage with 4:59 remaining but the Phoenix would again tie the score at 71-71 only eight seconds later.
Boyd then scored four straight points followed by two straight treys from Steward to put the game out of reach. UMKC went a collective 9-for-10 from the foul line over the final 1:30 to seal the victory.
The score was tied eight times and there were 18 lead changes. Both teams finished with 34 rebounds and 17-plus assists.
Green Bay was led by Kerem Kanter with 20 points and six rebounds. Charles Cooper added 17 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals.
The Roos will play at Wyoming on Monday, March 20 at 8 p.m. CT in the CBI quarterfinals.
– UMKC –