KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The UMKC men’s basketball (4-11) shot 50 percent from the field, and five student-athletes notched double-figure scoring, in the Roos 89-58 victory against Avila (6-5) on Thursday night to close a three-game home stand at Municipal Auditorium.
UMKC was patient with its offense to open the game, as a baseline jumper by Isaiah Ross (Davenport, Iowa) from Xavier Bishop (Springfield, Ill.) opened up scoring for the Roos. Broderick Robinson (Grand Junction, Colo.) knocked down back-to-back treys, and Aleer Leek (Juba, South Sudan) added four points at the free throw line, as UMKC held the 14-7 advantage going into the first media break.
The Roos were shooting hot early on, going 7-for-8 from the field, including 5-for-6 from behind the arc with a pair from Ross, who finished the game with four from long range to lead the team. Ross also hit a team-high 20 points for the second time in three outings. A turnover forced by Marvin Nesbitt Jr. (Chicago, Ill.) converted into a fast-break layup to help the Roos jump out to a 25-9 lead over the Eagles, forcing an Avila timeout.
A jumper in the paint by Marco Smith (Kansas City, Kan.) demolished a nearly four minute drought without a basket for eight early first-half points by the freshman. Before entering into another miniscule scoring drought, a 3-pointer from way downtown by Bishop pushed the Roos to a 36-24 lead with just under six minutes remaining in the half, as Avila convert 4-of-5 from the field during UMKC’s scoring drought.
UMKC’s defense forced a scoring drought by the Eagles, as the Roos closed the half on a 7-0 run. In the first half, the Roos forced 13 turnovers by Avila, as UMKC scored 21 points off of Eagles misfortunes. UMKC’s bench contributed 16 points, led by Smith, while Avila’s bench players had yet to contribute.
Five points by Robinson and Leek helped UMKC take its largest lead of the game to control the Eagles, 60-36, with 15 minutes remaining in the game. Bishop cut through three defenders at the midway point, trucking through the lane and laying it in for his 10th point of the game. The sophomore would finish the contest with 12 points, making it the seventh-consecutive game that he has hit double-figure scoring. He also contributed a career-high seven assists to lead all Roos.
UMKC closed the game on a 16-3 run, paced by Robert Knar (Mundelein, Ill.), who finished with a career-high 12 points on a career-best 5-for-7 shooting from the field and a perfect 2-for-2 from the 3-point arc.
As a team, UMKC forced 20 turnovers by Avila – the most since forcing 15 by Central Michigan on Dec. 19 at the start of its three-game home stand. Additionally, five Roos hit double-figure scoring – the most since UMKC’s pulverizing 110-59 win against Haskell to open the season.
UMKC will hit the road for its final away nonconference matchup of the season on Jan. 2 at USC Upstate. Tip-off between the Roos and the Spartans is set for 6 p.m. CT.
– UMKC –