PHOENIX — UMKC could never get going offensively and tripped up at first-place Grand Canyon tonight at the GCU Arena by a 78-50 score. The Roos never led and fell behind 12-0 early as the Lopes used 50 percent shooting and 21 points from Carlos Johnson. GCU, who moved to 5-1 in the conference, improved to 10-0 in home games.
Xavier Bishop was the lone Roo in double-figures with 11 points, in spite of playing just 21 minutes. He was 4 for 7 from the floor and recorded two steals. He played a few minutes into the second half before sitting for the rest of the game.
“We have to give GCU credit tonight,” said UMKC head coach Kareem Richardson. “They were able to get our defense out of position which enabled them to score around the basket or get fouled.”
Richardson continued about Bishop’s status.
“Xavier suffered a sprained ankle during the Bakersfield game (Thursday) and that limited his mobility.”
Bishop’s triple at the 11:50 mark in the first half gave UMKC a little life, with the guests trailing 15-8. However, the GCU crowd and Lopes’ balanced offensive attack was too much. The Lopes went up by as many as 24 points and went into half time with a 41-21 lead.
GCU shot 40.7 percent from the field in the first half and held a 14-1 scoring edge from the foul line.
UMKC had several players come off the bench and put in solid minutes in the second half. Brandon Suggs finished one point shy of a career high with seven points on 3 of 3 shooting. Caleb Roy played 11 second-half minutes and his hustle equated to four points and several effective drives in the paint. Overall, the Roos tallied 22 bench points.
Marvin Nesbitt Jr., one game removed from a career-high nine rebounds, snatched a team-high high boards tonight and added three assists. As a team, the Roos finished 20 of 58 (.345) from the floor and just 4 of 19 (.211) from 3-point range.
Complimenting Johnson’s 21 points, Michael Finke had 14 points and Trey Drechsel had 13. Drechsel filled the rest of the stat line with 11 rebounds, three steals and three assists.
Up Next: The Roos return home to tangle with Utah Valley at 6 p.m. CT from Swinney Center. So far, UMKC is 2-0 in games played at Swinney.
— Bishop has now tallied at least 10 points in 16-straight games.
— With 11 points, Bishop stands with 871 career points, which is two shy of No. 17 on the UMKC career list.
— UMKC drops its fifth-straight in the overall series against Grand Canyon.
— Nine different players scored in tonight’s game.
— UMKC hosts the rematch between the two teams in Kansas City on Feb. 14.