SEATTLE, Wash. – The UMKC men’s basketball team (5-14, 0-3 WAC) came back to tie the game 75-all, but fell by a pair of Seattle U (13-7, 2-1 WAC) free throws with three seconds remaining in Saturday’s Western Athletic Conference contest.
Freshman Brandon McKissic (Ferguson, Mo.) picked up right where he left off, scoring UMKC’s first five points to help the Roos tie it up going into the first media timeout while the defense held the Redhawks without a field goal for nearly three minutes.
Coming out of the break, newcomer Steve Dulley (Kansas City, Mo.) hit his first 3-pointer of the game, and fourth in two games, to help UMKC go on an 8-0 run and force a timeout by Seattle U that would be followed by four Redhawk turnovers in a four-minute span.
The Roos went nearly five minutes without a field goal, but a pair of free throws from Broderick Robinson (Grand Junction, Colo.) and Jordan Giles (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) helped UMKC regain the 12-11 lead with less than 11 minutes remaining in the first half.
Sophomore Isaiah Ross (Davenport, Iowa) checked into the game and knocked down a jumper to break UMKC’s streak without a field goal at the midway point of the first half. Going into the third media timeout, Marvin Nesbitt Jr. (Chicago, Ill.) connected from range, before Seattle U responded at the other end, to knot the game at 17-all.
Back-to-back 3-pointers from Seattle U put the Redhawks ahead by four points with four minutes left in the half. UMKC continued to battle, but a pair of free throws and a jumper by the home team gave Seattle U its largest lead – seven points – with less than two minutes remaining in the half. A trey from Ross broke Seattle U’s streak and brought the Roos back within six.
At halftime, the Roos trailed Seattle U, 38-34. UMKC’s bench outscored the Redhawk bench, 25-6, led by Giles and Ross who tallied nine and 10 points, respectively, in the first half. Giles also had a team-high four rebounds, while Xavier Bishop (Springfield, Ill.) contributed a team-high three assists.
Aleer Leek (Juba, South Sudan) and McKissic scored five quick points for the Roos to open the second half, before UMKC entered a stretch without a field goal for four minutes. Dulley hit three free throws, while Marco Smith (Kansas City, Kan.) banged home a 3-pointer, to bring the Roos back within eight of the Redhawks.
Nearing the midway point of the second half, Giles hit his second 3-pointer of the game to bring the Redhawk lead down to five, as UMKC head coach Kareem Richardson quickly called a timeout. The Roos continued to connect, going 4-for-5 over the next three minutes that included a pair of jumpers by Bishop.
Four straight free throws by UMKC brought the Roos within one of the Redhawks at the 8:24-mark. Robinson hit a jumper, as the Roos entered an 8-0 run to regain the lead for the first time since the 5:08-mark in the first half.
The back-and-forth battle continued, as Robinson hit a pair of free throws to tie the game up at 65-all with less than four minutes remaining in regulation. The Redhawks jumped out to a four-point lead, but a clutch pair of free throws from Bishop helped the Roos close in with two minutes left.
Seattle U knocked down a 3-pointer, but Giles responded at the other end with one of his own to keep UMKC within three points. A turnover by the Redhawks, and a layup by Bishop, brought the Roos within one with 21 seconds left. Coming out of the timeout called by UMKC, Giles drew the foul and went 1-for-2 at the line to knot the game at 75-all for the 12th tie of the game. A foul by the Roos, and a pair of made free throws at the other end with three seconds remaining, spoiled it for UMKC to give Seattle U the victory.
Giles finished the game matching a career-high 21 points to go along with a team-high five rebounds. Bishop added 14 points, going a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line while contributing a team-high five assists. Robinson also went a perfect 4-for-4 for the line, while Ross hit double-figures for the Roos as well.
As a team, UMKC improved immensely at the charity stripe, going 22-for-26. The Roos bench also contributed 45 points compared to Seattle U’s eight bench points.
UMKC will return to Municipal Auditorium for its longest home stand of the season, beginning with a pair of conference contests against CSU Bakersfield and Grand Canyon. Tickets for all UMKC home games are available by visiting www.UMKCkangaroos.com or by calling 844-UMKC-FAN.
– UMKC –