KANSAS CITY, Mo. – UMKC outscored Utah Valley by eight over the first 10 minutes of the second half, but could get no closer than two as the Wolverines (14-7, 3-3) picked up a 75-67 win over the Roos (7-13, 2-3) on Thursday night at Swinney Center.
The loss snaps a four-game home winning streak for the Roos, who had won their final two games at Municipal Auditorium and first two contests in Swinney.
Brandon McKissic had a look at a three with 1:47 on the clock that would have evened the game at 66-66, but the sophomore was just off and Utah Valley would salt the game away at the free throw line. The Wolverines connect on 7 of 8 from the foul line in the game’s final moments.
The Roos cut the 10-point half time deficit down to two, coming after Jordan Giles knocked down a pair of free throws midway through the second half. However, UMKC did not score a point for a three-minute stretch and UVU opened up a 57-50 lead. The final seven minutes of the contest belonged to Utah Valley… barely.
A Richard Harward free throw pushed the UVU lead to 61-53 at the 5:39 mark. A lay-up by McKissic capped a 6-3 UMKC run that had the game in the balance at 64-61 in favor of the visitors. But the Roos could not come up with a timely basket down the stretch.
“We came out strong, but their offensive pace kind of wore us down," said UMKC head coach Kareem Richardson. "Offensively though, we had our opportunities and shot decently, we just came up short. When we were down two, three, we missed a few long jumpers and didn’t get into the paint like we needed to. On the defensive side, the score is a little deceiving because they went to the foul line so many times.”
The Roos used a flurry of baskets to open the second half, trimming a 10-point halftime deficit down to three on a deep ball from Xavier Bishop. Bishop paced UMKC in the game with a game-high 22 points on 8 of 13 shooting from the field, including 4 of 6 from long range.
The Wolverines began chipping away at the lead, reclaiming the advantage at 28-26 and using a 27-6 run to go ahead by 12 late in the half. A steal and layup from Brandon McKissic, though, closed the gap to 40-30 heading into the break.
McKissic finished with 14 points, two steals and three rebounds for UMKC. Danny Dixon grabbed a team-high four rebounds to go along with six early points.
Utah Valley was led by Jake Toolson’s 23 points and 10 boards. Harward had 16 points and TJ Washington was the other double-figure scorer with 11.
- The Roos welcome in Seattle U for a 6 p.m. CT contest on Sat., Jan. 26 in Kansas City at Swinney.
- Both teams shot the ball well, with Utah Valley holding a slight advantage (51.9% to 51.0%).
- Utah Valley improves to 11-8 in the overall series.
- With his 22 points tonight, Xavier Bishop passes Nick Richmond (1995-99) and Reggie Chamberlain (2010-12) for 16th on the UMKC career scoring list with 893 career points, Now, Bishop trails Carlton Aaron (2002-05), who had 902 points.
- After going through a mini scoring slump with 14 combined points in his last three games, Rob Whitfield nailed three treys to tally nine points in 33 minutes tonight.
- Bishop now has 42 career double-digit scoring games, which is by far the active leader in that category, and 17-straight games in double figures.
- With the 51.0 percent shooting, the Roos have now gone over 50 percent from the floor in seven of 20 games this year.
- UMKC is looking for an answer in the rebounding category, having fewer rebounds than the opponent for the sixth-straight game. UVU had 31 compared to 24 tonight by the Roos.