KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Sophomore Xavier Bishop (Springfield, Ill.) hit the biggest shot of his college career on Thursday night – the game-winner – to give the UMKC men’s basketball team (6-14, 1-3 WAC) its first Western Athletic Conference victory of the season over the visiting CSU Bakersfield Roadrunners (7-12, 0-4 WAC).
CSU Bakersfield opened up on a short run, before a 3-pointer by Tony Jackson (Montgomery, Ala.) in the corner, and a charge drawn by the freshman, helped give UMKC some momentum. Another 3-pointer, this time by newcomer Brandon McKissic (Ferguson, Mo.), helped the Roos knot it up at six-all. A jumper at the other end by the ‘Runners made it an 8-6 game going into the first media break.
Five points out of the timeout by Broderick Robinson (Grand Junction, Colo.) continued UMKC’s energy, forcing a third turnover by CSU Bakersfield. Jackson hit his second trey of the game to give UMKC the 14-12 lead with 13:03 left in the first half.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by McKissic, including one with the shot clock expiring, helped the Roos take their largest lead of the game – seven points – at the midway point of the half. UMKC continued to stay hot from downtown, as Robert Knar (Mundelein, Ill.) knocked down the Roos seventh 3-pointer of the game.
Aleer Leek (Juba, South Sudan) blocked a shot for his fourth-straight game to help prevent the ‘Runners for taking the lead, before Isaiah Ross (Davenport, Iowa) checked back into the game and knocked in a 3-pointer to give UMKC some cushion. Marco Smith (Kansas City, Kan.) hit a breakaway jumper in the paint to give UMKC the 31-27 lead going into the final media break of the half.
UMKC opened with just as much excitement and pressure in the second half. McKissic knocked down his career-high fourth 3-pointer of the game to jump out to a career-high 14 points to lead the Roos. The UMKC defense forced a shot clock violation by the ‘Runners going into the first media break – CSU Bakersfield’s 10th turnover of the game.
The Roos entered a scoring drought of nearly four minutes before Leek went 1-of-2 at the free throw line to keep UMKC ahead, 45-40. A layup by Smith gave the Roos a seven-point lead with just under nine minutes left in the game.
Going into the final media break of the game, UMKC drew the charge – CSU Bakersfield’s 14th turnover of the evening. At the three-minute mark, the ‘Runners closed in on the Roos, but a layup by Bishop pushed UMKC back out to a three-point lead with less than two minutes left in regulation.
CSU Bakersfield converted a 3-point play to take the one-point lead over the Roos, before a trio of made free throws by Robinson gave UMKC the 59-57 lead with 41.3 seconds remaining. The ‘Runners laid it in on the other end, before Bishop hit the game-winning 3-pointer for the Roos to give UMKC its first Western Athletic Conference win of the season.
UMKC will continue its longest home stand of the season on Saturday with a WAC matchup against Grand Canyon, before playing its final nonconference game against William Jewell on Tuesday, Jan. 23. Tickets for all UMKC home games are available by visiting www.UMKCkangaroos.com or by calling 844-UMKC-FAN.
– UMKC –