Photo courtesy of David Cook, Eastern Washington Athletics
CHENEY, Wash. – A 23-point effort by junior guard Xavier Bishop was not enough as UMKC was defeated by Atlantic Sun Conference-member Morehead State University (Ky.) by a 99-89 count at the 2K Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project Thursday night, hosted by Eastern Washington University. Morehead State (2-2) connected on 15-of-26 three-pointers, including 11 treys in the first half, to capture the non-conference victory.
UMKC’s (0-4) slow start doomed the club as the team fell into an early 16-2 hole after the first three-and-a-half minutes of the game. The Roos trailed 53-28 at the half, but made things interesting with a 51-26 run to get to within 87-79 with four minutes remaining. However, the Eagles iced the contest in the remaining moments to defeat UMKC for the first time in five all-time tries.
The ice-cold start was on UMKC head coach Kareem Richardson’s mind after the contest.
“Our guys did a good job of fighting in the second half. But we dug ourselves too big of a hole in the first half.”
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• The Roos will next face the loser of Eastern Washington - Green Bay on Saturday either at 3:05 p.m. or 6:15 p.m. CT in the second and final game of the 2K Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project. If it’s Eastern Washington, the game will be at 6:15 p.m.
• Xavier Bishop, a Preseason All-WAC Second Team selection, recorded a season-high in points with 23. Entering the game averaging 9.3 points in his three previous contests, Bishop nailed 7-of-13 shots and three treys to lead the team in scoring. He added six assists and five rebounds.
• Redshirt-junior forward Danny Dixon, who had a career-high 15 points in the Roos loss last Sunday, tallied 12 points and four rebounds tonight.
• Balanced scoring was the theme for the Roos with four players hitting double digits led by Bishop’s 23. The other players to reach the mark were Dixon and junior forward Jordan Giles and junior guard Rob Whitfield with 15 apiece.
• As a team, the Roos held a 42-33 rebounding advantage. Junior forward Jamel Allen led the team with a career-high seven rebounds.
• It marked Morehead State’s first-ever win over UMKC in the short five-game series, with the last meeting coming all the way back in 1992-93.
• Morehead State’s A.J. Hicks led all scorers with 28 points. Jordan Walker added 23 points in the winning effort.
The Good… and the Bad
• The Good: UMKC shot a season-best 50 percent (31-of-62) from the field, including 51.6 percent (16-of-31) in the second half.
• The Bad: Allowed 15 three-pointers by Morehead State. Six different Eagles hit at least one trifecta.