College Basketball Invitational coming to Kansas City

LaVell Boyd penetrating the lane and looking for a teammate. (Credit | Ryan Hennessy)

Both the men and women were knocked out in the semi-finals last weekend of the Western Athletic Conference [WAC] tournament by New Mexico State – the tournament champions.

Dashawn King Dunk

Dashawn King dunk. (U-News)

The men qualified for the College Basketball Invitational [CBI]. UMKC will host UW–Green Bay Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. at Swinney Recreation Center.

“We are thrilled to participate in the CBI, our program’s first postseason tournament,” said Coach Kareem Richardson. “This is a huge accomplishment for our team, the university and the city of Kansas City.”

The CBI features 16 postseason teams. The championship is decided in a best-of-three series.

The men were 17-16 in the regular season and ranked third in the WAC tournament. The last time the team had 17 regular season wins was 2011.

Broderick Newbill Dunk. (Photo by (Photo by Chelsea Emuakhagbon|U-News)

Broderick Newbill dunk. (Photo by (Photo by Chelsea Emuakhagbon|U-News)

The men led for 9 minutes of the first half in the semi-final game and stayed within six points of the New Mexico State Aggies in the second half. The final score of 78-60 is a little deceiving. The Aggies were the better team, but not for the whole game. The Roos proved they can play with an NCAA tournament caliber team.

Odds of winning the WAC tournament would have been better with Martez Harrison, whose dismissal from the team stirred controversy. Some refer to his absence as the ‘elephant in the room’, but UMKC made the right call with his dismissal.

Seniors LaVell Boyd, Kyle Steward, Broderick Newbill, Dashawn King, and Darnell Tillman get at least one more chance to play in front of Kansas City basketball fans Wednesday on campus.

The team normally plays at Municipal Auditorium, which is five miles away from the Volker campus. The CBI tournament requires teams to play on campus. Playing at Swinney may bring more students to the game.

Women’s Basketball

Lyndsay Leikem. (U-News)

Lyndsay Leikem. (U-News)

The Roos lost by eight points to the Aggies. Sophomore Kristen Moore scored a career-high 23 points. Seniors Kelsey Barrett, Ceidra Coleman and Lyndsay Leikem together scored 31 of the Roos’ 63 points. Leikem had a double-double in points and rebounds.

In the first round, the women erased an 18-point deficit against UT Rio Grande Valley in five minutes of play. They went on to win the game, 77-69.

Future of Roos Women Basketball looks like…

The Roos are losing four seniors this year, Coleman, Barrett, Leikem and Justice Collins. The hardest impact will be Coleman – scoring and leadership. When she returned to the lineup with Kiana Law, the team caught their second wind, and went on to win the program’s first ever WAC tournament game.

Samantha Waldron, India Johnson, Kiana Law, Aries Washington, Paige Husa and Daijane Dillard will be next year’s senior class and Kristen Moore will return as a junior.

Coach Marsha Frese will have a strong team next year, as long as they can stay healthy, which got in the way this year. Roo fans should look for an above .500 finish to the regular season in 2018 out of their team.

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