MARTIN, Tenn. – The UMKC men’s basketball team (3-5) closed its busy week and captured its first victory on the road Sunday evening, taking down the UT Martin Skyhawks (1-5), 65-55.
The Roos opened the game on a 16-5 run led by a trio of 3-pointers and a jumper by sophomore Isaiah Ross (Davenport, Iowa). UT Martin hit one of its next nine field goals, as UMKC capitalized on its opportunities to take a 12-point lead at the 13:22 mark in the game.
Newcomer Tony Jackson (Montgomery, Ala.) hit a 3-pointer coming out of the media break at the midway point. A pair of free throws by Jordan Giles (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) ended a two-minute scoring drought by UMKC, as the Roos were shooting 56.3 percent from the field, 60.0 percent from three-point range and 50 percent from the free throw line with just under seven minutes left in the half.
Coming out of the final media timeout, Xavier Bishop (Springfield, Ill.) connected with Marvin Nesbitt Jr. (Chicago, Ill.), who drilled a 3-pointer to pull UMKC back out to a double-digit lead over the Skyhawks.
UMKC’s defense forced six UT Martin turnovers in six and a half minutes that included a scoring drought for nearly four minutes during that timeframe. A pair of free throws by Brandon McKissic (Ferguson, Mo.) helped UMKC equal its largest lead of the game before Ross banged home his fourth trey of the game to put the Roos up by 15 points.
Ross hit a jumper with less than a minute left in the half to tie his season high 16 points in just 14 minutes of action on the court to lead all scorers. Senior Broderick Robinson (Grand Junction, Colo.) had seven first-half points, while Bishop and Giles each had six for UMKC.
On UMKC’s first possession of the second half, Ross knocked down his fifth 3-pointer of the game to tally his career-high 19th point of the game. UT Martin went on a 7-0 run, while the Roos fell into a scoring drought for nearly four minutes until Aleer Leek (Juba, South Sudan) made his way to the free throw line to put a free shot away.
Both teams found themselves in a scoring drought at the midway point of the half before Jackson knocked down a 3-pointer to help UMKC extend its lead to its largest at 21 points.
Ross’ sixth trey of the game broke scoring back open for UMKC with 5:45 remaining in the game before the Skyhawks responded on the other end. The sophomore wasn’t done yet, as the guard knocked down his seventh 3-pointer with nearly three minutes remaining. Ross became the first UMKC student-athlete to connect seven shots from long range since former Roo LaVell Boyd hit seven 3-pointers against UT Martin last season.
UT Martin closed on a 10-0 run, while UMKC entered another scoring drought, but the Roos were able to capture their first road victory of the season with the 65-55 win over the Skyhawks.
Ross went 10-for-15 from the field – including 7-for-11 from behind the arc – for a career high 27 points. Bishop finished the game with a season-high six assists and five rebounds, while Leek also grabbed five rebounds to lead UMKC. As a team, the Roos shot 43.1 percent from the field, 50.0 percent from behind the arc and 70.0 percent from the free throw line.
The Roos will return to Kansas City to host South Dakota at Swinney Recreation Center on UMKC’s campus on Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. CT. Tickets for the Roos game against the Coyotes are still available by visiting the UMKC website or calling 844-UMKC-FAN.
– UMKC –