Kyle Steward led the way scoring 20 points in the game (14 in the first half) hitting two 3-pointers and shooting 54 percent for the game. He also had 11 boards making this his second game in a row with a double-double and his eighth game in a row scoring in double figures.
“I just want to go out and play hard,” said Steward. “This is my last year, last go around. I’m putting everything I got into it.”
UMKC’s defense caused the Wolverines to commit 21 turnovers, 14 of which were steals. Going into halftime the Roos lead by 10 ending the half with a score of 43-33.
From tipoff the Roos controlled the tempo of the game with an early 13-5 lead after seven minutes. Despite their best effort, Utah Valley was down by 10 points at half to UMKC’s commanding 56 percent field shooting.
Utah Valley caught their second wind to open the second half. They outscored the Roos 24-12 in the first 10 minutes to tie the game at 57.
“A lead with these guys is never safe,” said Coach Kareem Richardson. “The way they shoot the three and share the basketball we weren’t really surprised about the run they were able to make early in the second half.”
After a timeout, the Roos fired back at the Wolverines going on a 12-3 run sparked by four steals by senior Darnell Tillman. He ended the game with a career-high of five, which helped regain the advantage, 69-63 with 7:25 left in the game.
The Roos held onto the lead and never looked back. The victory was the second time they played Utah Valley. The first matchup the Roos lost to the Wolverines by 10 on Jan. 14.
Seniors Steward, Boyd, and King led the way each scoring in double figures.
“This is it,” said Steward. “We gotta give everything we got and lead the younger guys and be the leaders that we all are.”
King finished with 13 points and stole the ball three times.
The Roos are 5-4 in WAC play and standing at .500 with an overall record of 13-13 after the win against Utah Valley.
UMKC takes on Seattle University in their next home contest Saturday at 7:05 pm at Municipal Auditorium.