The UMKC men’s basketball team returns home this week after a disappointing string of losses on the road. On Wednesday, the Roos fell to the Seattle Redhawks 74-56. They lost on Saturday night 64-62 to the Bakersfield Roadrunners.
On Wednesday night, Seattle came out of the gates strong. After a poor defensive performance, the Redhawks took the lead halfway through the first period, and the Roos were not able to catch up the rest of the game.
“It was probably one of our poorest defensive efforts in league play,” Head Coach Kareem Richardson said. “We had too many defensive breakdowns tonight, and they had way too many points on open lay-ups and dunks.”
On Saturday night, the game was decided in the final 0.3 seconds of the contest. Bakersfield’s Jaylin Airington hit a jumper to break the tie and give the Roadrunners the win.
Just seconds before, sophomore Martez Harrison hit a three-pointer to tie the game at 62 points.
“We defended it pretty well,” Richardson said of the last play. “A little bit too much space for that time, but we switch things well, we were right there and for a contested 17 footer, so you have to tip your cap to him (Airington).”
The game was back and forth from the opening minutes, much like the previous meetings between the two teams. Senior Frank Williams Jr. finished with 11 points, and freshman Deshon Taylor ended with nine. Junior Thaddeus Smith came up big for the Roos with eight rebounds and five blocks.
Harrison finished with 28 points overall, and became the 10th player in UMKC history to score 1,000 points. He did it in only 58 games, the fourth fastest in school history.
The Roos return home for the final two home games this week before heading to Edinburg, Texas, for the final game of the regular season. On Thursday, they face the Utah Valley Wolverines at 7 p.m. at Municipal Auditorium.
The men’s team hopes to finish the regular season strong before starting the WAC Championship tournament in March.