KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The UMKC (9-16, 4-6 WAC) men’s basketball team greets CSU Bakersfield (16-9, 7-4 WAC) at the Swinney Center for a Saturday evening match-up. The Roos enter the 6 p.m. game ranked seventh (3-6) in the Western Athletic Conference standings. CSU Bakersfield is tied with Grand Canyon for second place at 7-4. UMKC gets its second-straight crack at knocking off a top-two team in the league. Thursday, the Roos took down Grand Canyon in overtime, 87-75.
- There will be a special halftime ceremony Saturday recognizing UMKC legend and all-time leading scorer Michael Watson. His #22 jersey will be retired as he ended his career with a Roo-best 2,488 career points. He also holds six other career school records. Current Roo Brandon Suggs will continue to wear #22 until the end of the season, at which point, no other UMKC player will ever wear that number again.
- Up Next - The Roos hit the road for its final road swing with multiple conference games. They visit Seattle U on Feb. 21, followed by Utah Valley on Feb. 23. Overall, UMKC has three more true road contests.
- Last time out - UMKC used a 16-4 surge in overtime to take down Grand Canyon by an 87-75 score on Thursday. The key down the stretch was the Roos defense, as the unit forced eight “empty” possessions by Grand Canyon to begin overtime. Rob Whitfield ended his night with 19 points, which included 5 of 9 shots from deep. Brandon McKissic posted 16 points, Xavier Bishop added 15 and Jamel Allen contributed 12. The Roos owned the free throw line going 23 of 25 (.920) compared to 7 of 11 (.636) for the Lopes.
- Series History with CSU Bakersfield - The Roadrunners lead the all-time series with an 8-3 record. The Roos won the previous home meeting on Jan. 18, 2018 in the 62-59 victory. UMKC stands 2-3 in Kansas City. However, CSU Bakersfield is 4-1 in the last five overall meetings.
- Previous meeting with CSU Bakersfield - Jarkel Joiner connected on three free throws with .2 seconds remaining to lift host CSU Bakersfield to a 74-73 victory over UMKC on Jan. 18. In a flurry of action under a minute to play, Brandon McKissic nailed what looked to be the eventual game-winner, a triple with 41.1 seconds remaining, to put the Roos on top 73-71. But after a failed 3-point attempt by Joiner was deflected out of bounds under their basket with .9 seconds left, the Roadrunners got one more chance. In the far left corner, Joyner took an inbounds pass on the baseline and attempted a 3-pointer. On the play, the officials whistled a foul against the Roos and Joiner, with his three free throws, sent the Runners to their seventh-straight home win to start the season.
- Bench points - The Roos have received significant contributions from their bench, especially during the last five games. Highlighted by the 38-9 advantage Thursday night in the win over Grand Canyon, UMKC has recorded more points off the bench than the opposition in each of the past five contests. During the last five games, UMKC is +71 in that category.
- A win against CSU Bakersfield means... Two-straight victories against the Roadrunners in Kansas City... improve the UMKC home record this year to 8-3, including 5-1 at Swinney Center... match the same amount of victories as last year’s season total of 10... improve to 8-4 in games played on Saturday this year.
- Scouting the Opponent - The Roadrunners enter Saturday tied for second in the WAC standings with a 7-4 league mark. Jarkel Joiner tops the club in scoring (15.8) overall and is second in the conference with a 19.0 scoring clip. He has posted 20-plus points in five of his last seven contests. James Suber is a double-double machine with five on the year. He leads the team in rebounding (7.6), which ranks second in the WAC. Rickey Holden is first on the team with 4.2 assists.