KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Beginning the second half of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) season on Saturday, UMKC (8-15, 3-5 WAC) heads to California Baptist (11-10, 3-5 WAC) with the game tipping at 7 p.m. CST / 9 p.m. CST. The Lancers face Chicago State on Thursday prior to the match-up with the Roos.
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- Conference standings - Both programs are fighting for a top-four seed in the WAC standings, with each currently tied for sixth place at 3-5. Each team is two games back of fourth-place Utah Valley at 5-3.
- Previous meeting with California Baptist - In the first-ever meeting between the Roos and Lancers on Jan. 10, UMKC claimed an 84-68 victory behind five players in double-figures. After taking a four-point halftime lead, UMKC used 60 percent shooting in the second half to run away with the win. The Roos shot 53 percent from the floor and forced 18 turnovers. Brandon McKissic and Jordan Giles each posted 17 points.
- Success on Saturday - UMKC has found success in an odd place. On games played on Saturday this year, the Roos are 7-3 overall. In all other days of the week, they are 1-12.
- Starting line-up rotation - Overall, the Roos have had nine different starting line-ups in 23 games. With a 5-3 record, the most successful quintet has been Leek and Giles in the front court, with Whitfield, Bishop and McKissic in the back court. See left bar on page two for more details.
- Treasure the basketball - UMKC has posted the same or fewer turnovers than the opposition in 18-of-23 games this year. At one stretch, the Roos went 14-straight games claiming that stat. In the five contests with turning the ball over more times, the Roos are 1-4.
- UMKC on ESPN+ - On Feb. 28, the Roos will be featured on the ESPN+ network as they play host to New Mexico State. All nine WAC teams have at least one game on the schedule. For just $4.99 a month, subscribers to ESPN+ receive thousands of live events, and original shows and films, and an on-demand library, which is not available on ESPN’s linear TV or digital networks. There is also a free seven-day trial available.
- Double-digit wins - The Roos are just two wins shy of reaching last year’s total win amount of 10. Also, two more conference wins would tie the amount of five established last year.
- A win at California Baptist means... UMKC’s first road league win of the year... make the Roos a perfect 2-0 all-time against the Lancers... bring the Roos to within one victory of last year’s season total of 10... improve to 8-3 in games played on Saturday this year.
- Scouting the Opponent - The conference’s leading scorer, Milan Acquaah, pours in 21.4 points per game. The transfer from Washington State has amassed at least 10 points in all but one of his 20 games. The lone contest was the loss to UMKC on Jan. 10 when he went 2 for 9 from the floor and finished with eight points. Jordan Heading (13.3 ppg) and Dejon Davis (10.3) are the other scorers in double-figures. Davis snatches a team-high 8.2 boards per game. As a team, the Lancers lead the WAC on free-throw shooting accuracy (77.8 %) and 3-pointers made per game (9.4). Heading into their game Thursday, the Lancers are looking to stop a three-game skid.