(Kansas City, Mo.) - The UMKC men's basketball team's postseason aspirations were lost in the final seconds to IPFW on Saturday night, as its last possession with 2.8 seconds left was batted away on the in-bounds pass and the buzzer sounded as the ball rolled down the court, falling 76-73.
UMKC (10-21, 4-14 SL) finishes its season in 10th place in the Summit League, falling short of the conference tournament by a game.
The game was back-and-forth throughout the final half with 12 ties and seven lead changes, but the final sway in momentum came in favor of the Mastodons (11-18, 5-13 SL) with 22 seconds on the clock. Senior forward Trey McCorkle hit a layup going down the middle of the lane that put IPFW up 74-73.
UMKC missed a three-point attempt on the other end of the floor, and was forced to foul the 'Dons Frank Gaines with five seconds left. He hit both attempts, and UMKC pushed it up to the half line before calling a timeout with 2.8 left. The 'Roos didn't get a chance to get the game-tying attempt off.
The opening period saw the 'Dons jump out to a 17-7 lead with 13:12 on the clock, but the 'Roos slowly chipped away, cutting it down to one at the 7:20 mark on a Thomas Staton jumper. IPFW pushed it back to six, but UMKC kept it close, taking it back to one with 2:39 left on a dunk by sophomore Fred Chatmon. A Staton three with 44 seconds remaining in the period tied it at 37, but Gaines answered with a layup to give the 'Dons a 39-37 halftime lead.
Both teams shot 56 percent in the period, with McCorkle leading all scorers with 14 points. Gaines had 11, and UMKC's Reggie Chamberlain put up 10 along with nine from Staton.
The final half never saw a team lead by more than five points, but the Mastodons shot 55.6 percent, while holding UMKC to only 37.9 percent. The shot selection proved to be the difference, with IPFW attempting 17 layups and scoring for 28 of their 37 points in the paint (7 on free throws).
Chamberlain led the 'Roos in his final game with 26 points, while Staton tallied a career-best with 20 on the night. Chatmon also had a career night, scoring 10 points and grabbing a team-best seven boards. McCorkle had 28 for the Mastodons, while Gaines tallied 26.