This morning as countless eyes were glued to the multitude of NFL pregame shows, the UMKC Roos were facing off against the Norfolk State Spartans in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament, Springfield bracket consolation game. The basketball game provided more drama than the Chiefs did today but there wasn’t much overlap thanks to the 10:30 CT tip-off. None-the-less by the time the Chiefs and Bengals were underway, UMKC was wrapping up their 63-57 victory.
With the win the Roos notched their second win on the season (something that has eluded our recently downtrodden NFL franchise) and got back to 0.500.
Estan Taylor again led UMKC in scoring and followed up his 17 point, 6 assist game yesterday with a 15 point effort against the Spartans. Right behind him in scoring was senior swingman Thomas Staton who came off the bench to add 14 points in 21 minutes of floor time. Staton made half of the team’s six three pointers. Trinity Hall scored the first seven points of the game and helped power the team to a one point lead at the half. He finished with 11 points overall while Kirk Korver also eeked his way to double digits with 10.
With 12 turnovers on each side, both teams did a solid job of taking care of the ball. The Spartans came out on top in the rebounding battle 32-27 but the Roos held a decided advantage in FG% (47.4% to 37.7%). UMKC also fared better from beyond the arc and at the free throw line while Norfolk State struggled in both regards going just 4-18 from three and 7-12 on FT attempts. The Spartans got more rebounds but it was largely due to the fact that they simply missed more shots.
Seven footer Brandon Goode led Norfolk State with 12 points in 19 minutes of action. F Rob Johnson was the only other Spartan in double digits with 11 on 4-14 shooting. Both Goode and Johnson pulled down 6 rebounds but it was freshman forward Rashid Gaston who was the leading rebounder on the day with 9.
The Roos (2-2) next game will be a case of David vs. Goliath as they will travel to Columbus to take on the #4 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. OSU is now 3-0 on the year following their 77-66 win today over the Washington Huskies. If you’re thinking the Buckeyes will be the toughest team UMKC will face this season, you’d (probably) be wrong. They will tangle with #2 Louisville on December 8th and in addition to that, also have games against a pair of Big-12 schools, Iowa State and Kansas State, on the docket next month as well.
Norfolk State will move on to host the Eastern Kentucky Colonels on Saturday the 24th.