Kangaroos Squeeze Past Jaguars in Tight One, 64-62
UMKC Athletics 1-21-2012
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(Kansas City, Mo.) - The UMKC Kangaroos finished off their home stand perfect on Saturday night, edging the IUPUI Jaguars by a 64-62 margin in front of a packed Swinney Recreation Center.

The Kangaroos (9-13, 3-7 SL) made it two wins in a row at Swinney for the first time since January 20 and 22 of last year, ironically against IUPUI and Western Illinois. The win also put UMKC ahead of both the Jaguars (8-14, 2-8 SL) and South Dakota in the conference standings.

The contest started back and forth, with three ties and four lead changes through the first 13 minutes, but UMKC went on a run thanks to a strong defensive effort. With 7:12 on the clock, the 'Roos started a 9-0 rally to make it 28-20 with four minutes left in the period.

IUPUI got back within three at the break thanks to a jumper by leading scorer Alex Young with 44 seconds left, making it 31-28. UMKC did a solid job on the Preseason Player of the Year in the half though, holding him to only 3-of-11 shooting.

The Kangaroos shot 54.5 percent in the stanza, while the Jags tallied a 44 percent clip. Sophomore forward Trinity Hall led UMKC with 10 first-half points, going 4-of-4 from the floor.

Young got hot in the final period, and gave IUPUI its first lead since the 7:36 mark of the first half when he drilled a three with 14:16 left to make it 41-38. That would be the largest lead of the game for the Jags though, as UMKC went on a 13-4 rally over a five minute span to go ahead by nine, highlighted by five points from sophomore guard Nate Rogers.

The Jags went on a run of their own though, cutting it down to one with 3:36 left, but senior guard Reggie Chamberlain hit a huge floater just outside the lane to push it back to three. A jumper by Young cut it to two with 1:56 on the clock, but UMKC had a big possession that ended up taking 45 seconds off the clock, and was capped with a couple made free throws from freshman guard Estan Tyler, making it 62-58 with 29 seconds left.

After two more made charities from Thomas Staton, it was a five point lead with 15 seconds left. IUPUI hit a three with six ticks on the clock, fouled the 'Roos with 2.4 left, and then grabbed the rebound off the front end of a missed 1-and-1. It gave them a chance for a 70-footer at the buzzer, but it was just wide left off the backboard.

Young finished with a game-high 26 points for the Jaguars, scoring 17 in the final half. The Kangaroos were paced by Hall with 17, Staton with 16, and Chamberlain with 11. Staton hit a career-best four threes in the game, while the Kangaroos stayed red-hot from the floor, hitting 53.7 percent overall. IUPUI stayed in it with a 29-18 rebound advantage, but UMKC drilled eight threes to the Jags three in the game.

The 'Roos will hit the road for a farewell tour next weekend as it plays two league members that are in their last season in the league. It starts with a trip to Southern Utah on Thursday, before heading to league-leader Oral Roberts on Saturday.

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