UMKC is one of eight teams participating in the 2012 Hall of Fame Tip-Off which has a bit of a unique format. From November 9th through the 13th, games were held at various campus sites. One of those campus games that took place on the 9th resulted in a 75-36 Roos loss at the hands of the Seton Hall Pirates. Today and tomorrow, all eight teams have congregated to play games at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. Then on the 23rd four of the eight teams will match up at campus sites. Participating in this event, in addition to UMKC and Seton Hall, are Ohio State, Washington, Rhode Island, Norfolk State, Loyola-MD and Albany.
This afternoon the Roos took on the Albany Great Danes. They started slow but picked up some momentum and took a 26-23 lead into the locker room at half time. The Great Danes reclaimed the lead early in the second half and pushed it to double digits before going cold from the floor. Aided by the Danes seven minute scoring drought, UMKC clawed back into the game. The Roos closed the gap to just 1 point before senior guard Jacob Iati hit two free throws in the final seconds to secure a 62-59 win for Albany.
The Roos were led by sophomore guard Estan Taylor who had 17 points and 6 assists in 35 minutes. After scoring a combined 15 points in the team’s first two games, Saturday was easily Taylor’s best game of the young season. Junior forward Kirk Korver was right behind Taylor with 16 points of his own while junior guard Nate Rogers added 10. As a team they made just 18 of 52 (34.6%) shots but were 9-22 (40.2%) from behind the 3-point line and 14-19 from the FT line.
For Albany, almost all of their scoring output came from their starting backcourt. Iati scored 24 points on 6-8 shooting and was nearly perfect (9-10) from the free throw line. Fellow senior Mike Black was just 2-8 from the floor but both makes were three-pointers and he was 10-12 from the charity stripe. As a team the Great Danes made it to the line 28 times making 23 of them. Black turned the ball over four times in 34 minutes, but Iati took care of the ball and put up a goose egg in the TO column.
Tomorrow Albany (3-1) will take on the Loyala University-Maryland Greyhounds (3-1) in the Springfield bracket championship. They Greyhounds won by 16 against Norfolk State (2-2) this afternoon.
With Albany and Loyala paired up, the Roos (1-2) will take on Norfolk State in the Springfield bracket consolation. Tip-off in their game is set for 10:30 am CT. UMKC will then travel to take on #4 Ohio State on Friday the 23rd.