KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A balanced scoring effort with five players finishing in double figures paved the way for UMKC in an 84-68 win over visiting California Baptist, Thursday evening in Western Athletic Conference play inside the Swinney Center.
The Roos (7-10, 2-0 WAC) won the first-ever meeting between the two teams after the Lancers (9-7, 1-2 WAC) became the ninth member of the conference on July 1, 2018 following its transition from NCAA Division II.
followed up his career-best 21 points last Saturday against Chicago State by sharing team-high scoring honors with 17 points, making 7 of 10 shots to go along with five rebounds, four steals and two assists. Jordan Giles
also finished with 17 points, making 5 of 6 from the field and 7 of 9 free throws.
CBU got off to a hot start in its first-ever appearance in the Swinney Center. Jeremy Smith hit a pair of three-pointers in the opening moments, giving the visitors a 12-2 lead less than 4:00 into the contest.
The next 13 minutes, however, belonged to the Roos. Jamel Allen
and Marvin Nesbitt Jr.
hit bookend three-pointers to cap an 11-4 stretch that cut the deficit to three. UMKC continued the momentum in its favor, taking the lead after scoring seven-straight points and held a 31-26 lead with 3:11 until half after a trey by Aleer Leek
"I felt like we were okay, as crazy as it sounds," said UMKC head coach Kareem Richardson
, whose team opened conference play with back-to-back wins for the first time since the 2013-14 season. "I thought that 13-minute stretch of the first half was phenomenal defensively and we did some good things sharing the basketball."
UMKC held the lead for all but 32 seconds of the half after taking the lead on a three-pointer by Xavier Bishop
at the 10:50 mark. CBU tied the game at 31-31 with 1:24 until halftime before McKissic converted a pair of transition buckets on consecutive possessions for a 35-31 halftime lead.
The UMKC offense kicked into high gear in the second half, shooting 60.0 percent (15 of 25) from the field while committing just three turnovers. The defense for the Roos set the table for the offense, forcing 18 turnovers that led to 31 points.
Bishop hit a trio of three-point shots and added 13 points, three assists and three rebounds for the Roos, while Nesbitt Jr. chipped in with 11 points and seven rebounds. Allen also posted 10 points, four rebounds and two steals.
The leading scorer in the conference heading into the game, Milan Acquaah was held to eight points on 1 of 6 shooting and committed six turnovers in the process. Mike Henn and De'Jon Davis each added nine points and combined for 15 rebounds for CBU.
Up Next - The Blue and Gold will hit the road and take on CSU Bakersfield on Thursday, Jan. 17th at 9 p.m. CT.
NOTES - Since an 0-5 start, UMKC has won six of the last nine ... The Roos are now 5-2 in home games this season, including a perfect 2-0 mark in the Swinney Center ... UMKC improved to 5-2 when scoring at least 80 points and 5-3 when yielding under 70 points ... Xavier Bishop scored in double figures for the 14th-straight game and 15 of 17 contests this season ... Bishop moved to 841 points for his career, good for 17th on the career UMKC scoring list ... Bishop is 32 points from matching Nick Richmond (1995-99) ... With his 7 of 10 shooting line, McKissic is now 27 for 39 (.692) from the field over the last four games.
- UMKC -