CHENEY, Wash. – UMKC men’s basketball dropped the second and final game of the 2K Classic Benefitting Wounded Warrior Project, losing to host team Eastern Washington University, 87-80 in overtime, on Saturday night. For the second-straight outing, junior guard Xavier Bishop was impressive going for a career-high 28 points on 8-of-13 shooting. He finished with five rebounds, five assists and a career-tying three steals before fouling out in the overtime period.
The Roos (0-5) were in the driver’s seat in the closing seconds of regulation. Two foul shots by junior guard Rob Whitfield handed UMKC a 69-66 lead with 10 seconds remaining. After a timeout by the Eagles (1-3), Jesse Hunt delivered in the clutch with a game-tying 3-pointer at the buzzer to send the game to overtime.
UMKC head coach Kareem Richardson talked about the key of the game.
“A big emphasis for us going into the game was taking away their three’s. We did a good job for 40 minutes but we allowed them to go 3-for-4 in overtime and that was the difference."
The game was back-and-forth with nine ties and six lead changes. Eastern Washington led 35-31 at the half as the Eagles held the Roos to 35.7 shooting in the first 20 minutes.
However, the Roos were looking for their first win of 2018-19 and fought back in the game’s final six minutes of regulation. Trailing 61-54, a three-pointer by junior forward Jordan Giles sparked a 15-5 UMKC run that was capped by Whitfield’s free throws. But Hunt’s buzzer-beater propelled the Eagles in overtime and eventually for the home victory.
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• UMKC heads home for its first contest in Kansas City as the Roos welcome Drake to Municipal Auditorium on Wednesday, Nov. 21. Tip-off for the non-conference affair is set for 6 p.m. CT.
• The series with Eastern Washington swung in the favor of the Eagles after tonight’s UMKC loss. EWU now leads 2-1 in the brief series, with the last meeting prior to tonight going back to 2008.
• Xavier Bishop has now gone for back-to-back 20-point efforts after a 23-point contest in Friday’s game. In his first three games, Bishop tallied 28 points. In his last two contests, Bishop posted 51 points.
• The 12 3-pointers was a UMKC season-high. Bishop and Rob Whitfield each swished four from long range, while Jordan Giles and junior forward Jamel Allen each made a pair.
• After 15 points last night, Whitfield collected a career-high 19 points. He made a perfect 5-for-5 from the charity stripe.
• Redshirt-junior forward Danny Dixon grabbed a team-high 12 boards, which set a career-high. Dixon’s previous high was six coming into tonight.
• Eastern Washington’s Jesse Hunt, the hero that sent the game into overtime, netted a game-best 32 points and contributed 12 rebounds.
The Good… and the Bad
• The Good: UMKC limited Eastern Washington to 6-of-20 (.300) on 3-point tries in regulation.
• The Bad: UMKC was out-rebounded by a 47-39 margin. It marked the fourth time in five games this year that the Roos were minus on the glass.