KANSAS CITY, Mo. – UMKC men’s basketball (8-13, 3-3 WAC) overcame a 10-point deficit late, using the energy of a raucous home crowd to defeat Seattle U (13-9, 1-6 WAC), 63-54, tonight in WAC action at the Swinney Center. Xavier Bishop notched his 18th-straight double-digit effort with a game-high 22 points. The Roos evened their conference record at 3-3 and halted a three-game losing streak in the process.
“I’m proud of our team’s effort tonight,” UMKC head coach Kareem Richardson said. “We never quit, never panicked and just kept fighting. Our defense got on them late and that led to the comeback and win. It was a great team effort and we are going build on this and keep getting better.”
The Roos were aided by a season-high Swinney Center crowd of 1,220, which in turn created chaos on the Seattle offensive end and eventually led to 14 Redhawk turnovers. Most of that cheering was courtesy of the #PouchofOuch student section.
Trailing by 10 at 47-37, Jamel Allen’s triple at the 7:10 mark ignited a game-clinching and impressive run that eventually lifted the Roos to a victory. The Roos whittled away the deficit in the next three minutes, taking the lead, 50-49, at the 4:03 mark on a Rob Whitfield jumper.
UMKC would never relinquish that lead. After two Brandon McKissic free throws, Terrell Brown connected on a pair of freebies and Seattle was down by just one, 52-51. However, Bishop scored six-straight points and the Roos limited Seattle to three points in the final three minutes of the game to ice the victory.
The first half saw both teams counter each other time-after-time. There were six lead changes and two ties in the game’s first 20 minutes. Seattle’s Ian Burke gave his club a 12-7 lead after his trey, which was the largest lead of the first half for either team. UMKC held a three-point advantages five different times and settled for a 26-24 halftime lead.
Besides his scoring, Bishop compiled four rebounds, two steals and one assist in 38 minutes of action. The ironman has now played 35-or-more minutes in 11-of-21 games this year.
Seattle was led by Terrell Brown’s 22 points, three assists and two steals. Myles Carter finished with 14 points and a team-high eight boards. As a team, the Redhawks shot 50 percent in the second half and ended at a 42 percent clip.
- UMKC wraps up the first-half of the conference season with a visit to New Mexico State on Jan. 31 and at UTRGV on Feb. 2.
- The Roos improve to 6-0 against Seattle U when playing in Kansas City. Overall, UMKC moves to 8-4 all-time in the series.
- UMKC now holds a 3-1 record in Swinney Center. The Roos traditionally played home games in previous seasons at the off-campus facility in downtown Kansas City, Municipal Auditorium, but committed to played at Swinney to better engage campus and the students.
- UMKC used its bench effectively with 25 points, a distinct advantage to the five bench points from Seattle. Dixon and Whitfield each had 10 in a reserve role.
- With fewer turnovers tonight (8 to 14), the Roos have had the same amount of turnovers or fewer than the opponent in 13-straight contests.
- Danny Dixon recorded his first double-digit scoring total for the first time in nine games.
- Xavier Bishop slid up to 15th place on the UMKC career scoring list, passing Carlton Aaron (2002-05). Bishop now has 915 career points.
- Both teams shot the exact same percentage from the field tonight – 21 of 50 for 42 percent.