CHICAGO, Ill. – The UMKC men’s basketball team (0-1) dropped its season opener at 2018 Final Four participant Loyola Chicago (1-0), 76-45, on Tuesday night at Gentile Arena in Chicago, Ill.
Brandon McKissic led the UMKC offense as the sophomore finished with 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field, including 3-of-3 from three-point range, while adding three rebounds and two steals.
Making his debut in the Blue & Gold, junior Rob Whitfield finished with 11 points, the only other Roo in double-figures, knocking down a trio of threes, grabbing three rebounds and notching two steals.
Loyola jumped out to an early 6-0 lead in the contest, but Jordan Giles knocked down a free throw and McKissic buried a three to cut the lead to two and give the Roos their first points of the season.
LUC pushed the lead to seven with back-to-back baskets, but Xavier Bishop found Aleer Leek for the first of his four assists and McKissic followed with a steal and a layup to pull UMKC to within three just under eight minutes into the game.
The Roos, however, were unable to get any closer the rest of the half and Loyola closed on an 8-0 run to take a 40-18 lead into halftime.
Coming out of the break, UMKC scored four of the first six points on a pair of Bishop layups, cutting into the Rambler’s lead.
The Roos would continue to battle the rest of the game with Whitefield scoring eight points, McKissic scoring seven and Bishop and junior Jamel Allen scoring six in the half, but it would not be enough as Kansas City fell 76-45 in the season opener.
As a team, the Roos finished with 11 steals and forced 14 Rambler turnovers, while getting 23 points off the bench and 20 points in the paint.
Allen, meanwhile, finished with six points, a team-high six rebounds and two steals and Bishop added six points, four assists, three steals and a rebound.
The Blue & Gold will be back in action again on Thursday when they head to Iowa City, Iowa, to take on Big Ten foe Iowa at 7 p.m. CT in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
– UMKC –