Senior Ballers Step Forward

The Roos have won their last two games. In their last game against the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), they were down by 11 points at half, but that didn’t stop the team.

This Thursday they will begin a three game home stand, beginning with Utah Valley, where they’ll play for the winning-streak.

The credit for UMKC’s comeback against UTRGV was second half defense. After the first half of play, the Roos were down 31-42.

“We held them to 18 points in the second half,” said Coach Kareem Richardson. “Since I’ve been here, in a half defensively, that’s the best — not one of — but the best half of defense that we’ve played since I’ve been here.”

While the Vaqueros only put up 18, the Roos scored 42 to complete the come-back win, 73-60.

Kyle Steward led UMKC with a double-double – 20 points (14 coming in the second half) and 14 rebounds. This marks Steward’s seventh game in a row with more than 14 points.

“I think guys are looking for me a little more,” Steward said in an interview against Ottawa. “I’m being more vocal and asking for the ball. I think that’s what got me going on this little hot streak.”

Steward also had 20 points against Ottawa.

Seniors Broderick Newbill, Dashawn King, and LaVell Boyd have also been regularly scoring double-digit points.

Dashawn King dunks against Ottawa. King had 10 against UTRGV and Ottawa. (Credit | Ryan Hennessy)

Dashawn King dunks against Ottawa. King had 10 against UTRGV and Ottawa. (Credit | Ryan Hennessy)

The Roos are 4-4 in the WAC, which is good enough for fourth place in the WAC. New Mexico State is leading the league with a 8-0 record, CSU Bakersfield is second, 6-1, and Grand Canyon University (GCU) is third, 4-3. However, it’s important to note, GCU cannot play in the WAC tournament until their NCAA probation period ends, after this season.

Despite turnovers and a low energy start in the game last Tuesday against Ottawa, the Roos held on to win, 93-67. The Roos turned the ball over 19 times and committed 27 fouls, in this final non-conference matchup.     Ottawa tied the score at 13 with 12 minutes left in the first half. The Roos came out aggressive after a timeout, scoring 19 points before Ottawa could score six in three minutes, to lead 38-21. The run included four 3-pointers, two of which were made by Steward.

Four Roos finished the game with double-digit points. Steward had 20 with five boards, Newbill (20), King had 10 with four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Freshman sharp-shooter, Isaiah Ross went 4-9 from downtown to score 16 with four boards.

Men’s Basketball begin their final home stand this Thursday, Feb. 9 when they take on Utah Valley at 6:35. The two last played in Orem, Utah on Jan. 14. The Wolverines won 86-76.

The Roos play Seattle University on Saturday at 7:05. The last time the two played UMKC won 84-68.

 

ccoleman@unews.com

rhennessey@unews.com

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