KANSAS CITY, Mo. – UMKC men’s basketball (5-9) used a 53-point first half and tough defense to propel the Roos to a 95-59 victory over visiting Elon (4-9) University this afternoon at Municipal Auditorium.
The two teams played for the first time in history.
Jamel Allen was one of six Roos in double figures with a career-high 18 points. Brandon McKissic and Marvin Nesbitt Jr., each scored 15, Xavier Bishop and Rob Whitfield each posted 13 and Jordan Giles chipped in 10. Nesbitt Jr., led the Roos with seven rebounds. It’s the second time this month UMKC had six players hit double-digits.
“Our guys, defensively – this was our best performance of the year…maybe since I’ve been here,” said UMKC head coach Kareem Richardson. “We executed our game plan. We wanted to pressure Elon and take away their 3.”
With the score tied at 19 at the 9:10 mark, UMKC’s defense got into passing lanes and forced tough shots, which in turn sparked a 34-10 run to end the first half. Elon turned the ball over six times during that stretch, 14 total in the first half, as the UMKC offense consistently had 3-on-2 and 2-on-1 fast-break opportunities.
Rob Whitfield’s dunk at the 7:49 mark highlighted a 16-0 UMKC run to go up 35-19 in the first half. Elon’s Federico Poser hit a jumper in the lane to halt the UMKC run. That basket snapped an Elon scoring drought over a 4:10 stretch.
The Roo defense was the key converting 14 turnovers into 26 points in the first half, en route to a 53-29 halftime lead.
The UMKC offense continued to click in the second half, shooting 50 percent (15-of-30), cruising the non-conference victory. The Roo lead never dropped below 24 points in the second, ballooning to as much as 39 at the three-minute mark.
Kris Wooten led the Phoenix with 13 points. Nathan Priddy had 11 and Federico Poser came off the bench to tally 10.
UMKC held a 36-27 rebounding advantage. Defensively, the Roos forced 20 total turnovers and had 37 points off of those turnovers.
- The Blue & Gold closes out the 2018 portion of its schedule when it heads to Omaha, Neb., on Dec. 27 to take on Creighton at 7 p.m. CT.
- With the win, the Roos finish their non-conference season at Municipal with a 3-2 record.
- The WAC’s second-leading scorer (17.0 ppg), Xavier Bishop finished with 13 points. This marks the 11th-straight game he had 10-plus points.
- Rob Whitfield leads the conference and is No. 39 (tied) in the NCAA with 3.25 made 3-pointers per game. Today, he made 3 of 5 and now has splashed in 42 season treys.
- UMKC is second in the conference in steals per game at 8.3. Tonight, they had 11.
- Jamel Allen’s previous career and season-high for scoring was 15 done against Avila on Nov. 24.
- Kaleb Roy appeared off the bench for the Roos. The redshirt-freshman, who averages 6.9 minutes played per game, finished with two points and two rebounds in seven minutes.
- The 95 points allowed by Elon is the third-highest this year, behind the 98 to Furman and 116 to North Carolina.
- Entering the game, Elon is the worst free throw shooting team in the Colonial Athletic Association at 132-for-197 (.670). Today, the club was 10 of 18 (.556).