This afternoon, the Roos again proved something we already knew about them. They may not be as talented as many of the teams they’ve played so far this season, but they are a resilient bunch that simply doesn’t quit. UMKC trailed the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks for the entirety of the first half, fell behind by as many as nine and went into the break behind by a score of 32-24.
Five minutes into the second stanza the Roos were down by eleven but then ripped off a 13-4 run to close the margin in a matter of just two minutes. From that point on they hung tough and claimed their first lead with 7:36 left on the clock. The rest of the way it was nip and tuck with neither team able to get the score beyond a single possession game.
SEMO’s Tyler Stone hit a pair of free throws with 28 seconds left to give the Redhawks a 66-65 advantage. That wound up being the final score of the game though UMKC had not one but two contested shots in the final seconds to emerge victorious.
Though they can keep their heads up knowing they fought back and left it on the court, the moral victories only go so far and this UMKC squad needs to finish one of these games off to build some confidence. There is talent on this roster, but poor shooting continues to hamper them in most of their games.
Today’s game was certainly no exception as the Roos shot just 34.9% from the floor while the Redhawks put the ball in the hoop at a 46.2% clip. On the bright side UMKC hit ten threes for the second straight game and actually shot better from the perimeter 10-27 (37.0%) than they did from within the arc, 12-36 (33.3%).
Nate Rogers and Thomas Staton came off the bench this afternoon, together hit on 6-11 three pointers, and led the team in scoring with 14 and 13 points respectively. Estan Tyler struggled with his shot hitting on just two of eleven attempts but was fantastic with the ball in his hands. He racked up nine assists to go with his eight points and turned the ball over just once in 38 minutes of action. However the Roo of the day was without question, Fred Chatmon who notched his second double-double of the month (and his career) with eleven points and 13 rebounds. His rebounding total tied a career high that he set back on December 5th.
For the Redhawks it was the Tyler Stone show as the junior forward racked up 28 points on 10-17 shooting, pulled down nine rebounds and blocked two shots. All of that in addition to hitting his free throws at the end of the game to give his team the lead and the win. Senior guard Corey Wilford also came up big for SEMO with 15 points, six rebounds and six assists.
The Redhawks (8-6) will next dip into Ohio Valley Conference play and host the Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks (3-9) on the 29th. It will be the conference opener for both teams.
After three straight in Kansas City the Roos (4-8) will hit the road but stay local for their next two games. First they will mosey to Manhattan to take on Kansas State (9-2) next Saturday. They will follow that up with a trip north to tangle with Summit League foe Nebraska-Omaha (3-11, 0-2) on December 31st. Like UMKC, K-State has a week off following their six point win over #8 Florida this evening.