BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – Jarkel Joiner connected on three free throws with .2 seconds remaining to lift host CSU Bakersfield (12-6, 4-1 WAC) to a 74-73 victory over UMKC (7-10, 2-1 WAC) tonight in Western Athletic Conference play. The game was full of back-and-forth action in the second half as the Roos dropped their first league game of the year.
In a flurry of action under a minute to play, Brandon McKissic nailed what looked to be the eventual game-winner, a triple with 41.1 seconds remaining, to put the Roos on top 73-71. But after a failed 3-point attempt by Joiner was deflected out of bounds under their basket with .9 seconds left, the Roadrunners got one more chance.
In the far left corner, Joyner took an inbounds pass on the baseline and attempted a 3-pointer. On the play, the officials whistled a foul against the Roos and Joiner, with his three free throws, sent the Runners to their seventh-straight home win to start the season.
UMKC trailed for most of the first half and was down 39-30 after a Rickey Holden jumper in the first minute of the second stanza. But that is when the Roos made their charge.
Jordan Giles splashed a free throw, followed by four-straight points by McKissic, to get the Roos back in the game. McKissic's lay-up at the 13:40 mark pushed the Blue and White on top, 46-45, for its first lead of the second half. The game continued to be closely contested until the end.
No team led by more than four points down the stretch. In fact, there were three ties and five lead changes in the game's final five minutes.
UMKC head coach Kareem Richardson appreciated his team's toughness.
“Our guys showed a tremendous amount of grit tonight,” said Richardson. “There were many ebbs and flows throughout the game. We put ourselves in a position to win, but unfortunately we came up short.”
CSU Bakersfield grabbed momentum late in the first half to take a 37-30 lead into the locker room. Justin Edler-Davis swished a trey to cap a mini 7-2 run for the Runners. The Roos shot just 31 percent (8 of 26) in the first half.
Xavier Bishop and McKissic were the second-half catalysts as the duo combined for 24 points in the final 20 minutes. Both scorers looked for their shot and slashed to the basket earning their points.
Bishop finished with a team-high 19 points to go along with four rebounds and four assists. The junior guard hit for his 15th-straight game of double-digit points thanks to his propensity to get into the paint area and make acrobatic shots.
McKissic collected 13 points and two blocked shots, followed by 11 from Marvin Nesbitt Jr. and 10 from Giles. Nesbitt notched his third overall 10-plus point game of the year, and second straight. The nine rebounds is a career-high for the native of Chicago, Ill.
Joyner, who entered the game shooting 63% from the foul line, netted a team-high tying 16 points for the Runners. He shared scoring honors with Justin Edler-Davis, who also contributed a team-high eight rebounds.
- The Roos head south to Phoenix, Ariz., for a date with Grand Canyon on Saturday. Tip from the GCU Arena is set for 9 p.m. CT.
- With his 19 points tonight, Xavier Bishop currently stands with 860 career points, which puts him No. 18 on the career UMKC list. He trails Nick Richmond (1995-99) with 873 points.
- Bishop now has 40 career double-digit scoring games, which is by far the active leader in that category.
- With 10 three-pointers made tonight, the Roos have gone for 10-or-more in six games this year. They are 4-2 in those contests.
- The starting line-up tonight of Leek, Giles, Nesbitt Jr., Bishop and McKissic is the seventh different starting five this year for coach Richardson. The group is now 1-1 as starters.
- After opening the year 0-6, UMKC is 7-5 in its last 12 games.
- Playing at CSU Bakersfield has been a difficult task as the Roos have now dropped five-straight in California. Overall, the series belongs to CSU Bakersfield, 8-3.