UMKC Men’s Basketball suffered its fifth Western Athletic Conference loss against undefeated New Mexico State 48-73 this Saturday at the Municipal Auditorium.
The Roo’s knew they had their work cut out for them. The Aggies are 6-0 league play and now stand 18-3 overall this season.
The Aggies set the pace for the matchup on Saturday, wasting no time gaining a 9-point lead on the Roos. By the second timeout, UMKC struggled to sink any baskets and the dry spell seemed to hold steady for the majority of the first half.
Defensive efforts by junior center Aleer Leek helped UMKC manage to put a squeeze on the Aggies in the first half, closing the lead to 4 points with just over three minutes remaining. Leek managed five early rebounds in the match with four from the defensive end.
Sophomore guard Xavier Bishop braved the Aggies’ defensive efforts with a reverse lay-up towards the end of the first half, breaking the dry spell for the Roos.
Despite the Roos’ effort, they were no match for their sizable opponents. Even though UMKC came close to catching up, the Aggies managed to close out the first half 35-20.
In the second half, the Roos seemed to show a bit of apprehension inside the paint. The Aggies gained a 19 point lead and continued to keep the lead on the Roos.
New Mexico State guard Zach Lofton and forward Eli Chuha both had impressive performances in the match up, with Lofton putting up a game high of 19 points and Chuha making 6 rebounds.
UMKC ended the second half with a loss, 73-48.
“Bottom line comes down to the three day conference in Las Vegas,” stated associate Head Coach Angres Thorpe, when asked about what the Roos plan for the continuation of the season. “We have got to get better and build some momentum.”
UMKC goes on the road again for a pair of games at Grand Canyon and CSU Bakersfield next week to start the second half of WAC play.