Prior to Saturday night’s game against the South Dakota Coyotes, the UMKC Kangaroos had topped 80 just points once all season – and that was against Division II Lincoln University (MO). The Roos have battled to make shots and put points on the board in the majority of their first 17 games, so it came as quite surprise to see them on the winning end of a 90-86 final score.
The Coyotes shot 53.1% from the floor and were 11-19 from three. They were also up 41-37 at the half and all those things together would have held up against the Roos on most nights. Saturday night in Vermillion, South Dakota however was a very different story as the lid was ripped off the basket.
The Roos had a record night in the second half as they missed just four of 23 shot attempts en route to scoring 51 points in the final 20 minutes of action. Shooting 82.6% in a half, a school record, is a wonderful way to snap a nine game losing streak and the Roos needed every one of those shots to secure the win. Overall for the game UMKC shot 61.1% from the floor and hit on 13 of 24 three point attempts – which was a season high.
Speaking of season highs, sophomore Estan Tyler scored 25 on 10-13 shooting. It was the first time in his young career that he broke the 20 point barrier and it set a new high water mark in scoring for the team as a whole. Tyler was 5-7 from beyond the arc but perhaps more importantly had five assists and zero turnovers in 28 minutes of action. By hitting on four of seven three point attempts, Kirk Korver nearly matched his teammate from the perimeter and finished with 15 points. Thomas Staton bounced back from a rough two game stretch to score 19 while Fred Chatmon added six rebounds and ten points before fouling out of the game.
The Coyotes got 24 points from their leading scorer, Juevol Myles, while their other four starters finished with at least eight. Sophomore guard Brandon Bos has the most complete line of the night for South Dakota while playing the full 40 minutes. In addition to his 19 points, which included a 5-8 effort from three, he had seven rebounds, four assists and a steal. Trevor Gruis and Karim Rowson were also in double figures with 14 and twelve points respectively.
Having lost three out of their last four, South Dakota (7-11, 3-3) will play the first of two consecutive road games with a Thursday showdown against the IPFW Mastodons (8-11, 1-4).
The Roos (5-13, 2-4), riding high from their offensive outburst, are set to take on the Oakland Golden Grizzlies (7-12, 2-3). The game will be held at the Athletics Center Orena (that’s not a typo if you’re wondering) Thursday night with a 6:00 pm CT tip off. The Grizzlies have lost three in a row including games against North Dakota State and South Dakota State in the last week. While they’ve dropped a handful of games of late, junior guard Travis Bader has been doing his part. His 19.7 points per game is second in the Summit League and ranks him 21st in the nation. Sophomore Corey Petros is second on the team in scoring (12.9 ppg) and his 8.2 rebounds per game is good for second in the conference. Rounding out Oakland’s trio of double-digit scorers is junior guard Duke Mondy. In addition to contributing 11.7 ppg, Mondy’s 5.1 assists per game rank second in the conference and his 3.0 steals per game leads the Summit League by a very wide margin.