The UMKC men’s basketball team ended a three-game skid when they defeated Seattle University 63-54 on Saturday in front of a season high crowd of 1,220 in Swinney. UMKC improved its season record to 8-13 and 3-3 in conference play.
Both teams struggled to get anything going, and the game was a stalemate for much of the first half.
Seattle’s length and size created many issues for UMKC in terms of driving the ball and creating contact near the basket. UMKC dealt with this by stretching the floor and knocking down shots around the perimeter.
The Roos went six of twelve from behind the arc in the first half and used that to exploit Seattle’s defense. The first half was a mixture of defense and a lack of offense and creativity from both teams. UMKC and Seattle’s field goal percentages were in the upper thirties, and UMKC found difficulty producing good looks at the basket, they were up at half 26-24.
UMKC continued to struggle early in the second half and allowed Seattle to gain momentum and control the pace. Seattle opened up the second half on a 15-6 run and forced UMKC to call a timeout early in the second half.
Seattle’s offense milked time off the clock and minimized the amount of possessions for the Roos. These long possessions caused UMKC players to become fatigued and run out of gas by the time they were on offense Unlike the first half, UMKC was struggling to connect from downtown.
The Roos found themselves trailing by ten with little over eight minutes of play left. The team needed a spark, and that’s when junior forward Jamel Allen knocked down a three with over seven minutes remaining in the game. This was UMKC’s first three in the second half. Prior to that, the team was 0-4 from three in the second half.
Momentum slowly shifted towards the Roos, and they used this to produce a 13-2 run over a four minute span. The Roos suddenly found themselves up 50-49 with about three minutes left on the clock. They didn’t look back from there, keeping their foot on the pedal for the remainder of the game.
Junior guard Xavier Bishop was the X-factor down the stretch, causing issues for Seattle defensively and knocking down key shots, including two contested layups in transition.
UMKC closed out the game on a 26-7 run and caught fire late, knocking down six of Seattle’s last seven shots. Bishop led the way with 22 points, while sophomore guard Brandon McKissic scored 10 points, grabbing rebounds, and creating shots for his teammates.
UMKC will look to continue this play when they travel to New Mexico State to take on the Aggies on Jan. 31.