LARAMIE, Wyo. – UMKC (18-17) was defeated 72-61 by Wyoming (20-14) in the quarterfinal round of the College Basketball Invitational Presented by FIVE FOUR on Monday night at the Arena-Auditorium. In a game that was a microcosm of the whole season, the Roos continued to fight back until the final buzzer.
“Our guys did a tremendous job of battling and keeping themselves in it, only [being] down six at half,” head coach Kareem Richardson said. “The start of both halves were what really got us.
“I told the guys in the locker room, I’ve got no problem with their effort and energy, enthusiasm. The bench was into it, the guys that came into the game were into it. Our energy was there. Again, just those couple lapses there. Our effort, I tip my hat our guys, no question about it.”
UMKC’s senior class continued to play well, finishing the year playing some of the best basketball of their respective careers. Dashawn King (Bronx, N.Y.) led UMKC with 16 points and a career-high three 3-pointers. Kyle Steward (Detroit, Mich.) added 15 points and five rebounds. Darnell Tillman (St. Louis, Mo.) grabbed a career-best 12 rebounds. Broderick Newbill (Kansas City, Mo.) finished with 10 points.
“They left it all out there, and again, I told the guys in the locker room, specifically talking to those seniors, that they certainly left their imprint on the program,” Richardson said. “We talk about building the program and foundation but they certainly did more than that. We’ve had previous groups of seniors that have helped build the foundation, but these guys, they laid brick and mortar on there and started to really build.
“I told them we can go right down the line and talk about the firsts that they’ve done. First postseason, first postseason win, the 18 wins. There’s a lot of accolades that this group has helped make on the program. Now, it’s going to be up to the returning guys and the future guys to continue to build this program the right way with the strong brick and mortar. That’s how you do it.”
Wyoming drained its first three shots and seven of the first nine – including a 5-for-7 mark from beyond the arc – to grab an early 19-4 lead. UMKC battled back with a 15-6 run of its own to trim the deficit to 25-19 on a layup by Newbill with 8:57 remaining before halftime.
After the Cowboys extended the lead to 30-19 with 6:28 left before intermission, the Roos again fought back, cutting the deficit to 38-32 at the break following a 3-pointer by Aleer Leek (Juba, South Sudan) from the top of the key.
On the first possession of the second half, Tillman grabbed an offensive rebound and kicked it out to LaVell Boyd (Chicago, Ill.), who drained his lone 3-pointer to pull the Roos to within three at 38-35.
From there, Wyoming went on a run to stretch the advantage to 56-42 with 11:09 remaining.
UMKC wouldn’t go away. The Roos went on a 14-3 run over 4:13 to pull within four at 64-60 on a long jumper by Newbill with 3:42 left. That was the last offensive burst the Roos could mount as Wyoming outscored UMKC 8-1 over the final 2:15 to seal the game.
King finished 4-for-8 from the field, 3-for-4 from 3-point range and 5-for-6 from the foul line. He was a perfect 3-for-3 from the floor, 2-for-2 from distance and 4-for-4 from the free throw line with 12 points in the first half.
Steward scored a team-high nine points in the second half. Tillman grabbed six boards in each half.
For the game, UMKC shot only 34 percent (22-for-64) from the floor and 25 percent (7-for-28) from beyond the arc. The Roos finished at 71 percent (10-for-14) from the foul line.
The Roos outrebounded the Cowboys 38-34, including a stretch during the run late in the first half when UMKC grabbed 11 of 12 boards.
Wyoming finished at 49 percent (26-for-53) from the field, 44 percent (10-for-23) from 3-point range and 83 percent (10-for-12) at the charity stripe. The Cowboys connected on 10-plus 3-pointers for the 10th straight game.
Justin James led Wyoming with a game-high 21 points to go along with seven rebounds. Three others Cowboys scored in double figures.
UMKC finishes the 2016-17 campaign with its first postseason appearance in the program’s 30-year Division I history, the first postseason victory in school history and 18 wins, which ties for second-most ever by the Roos.
– UMKC –