UMKC (17-16) was defeated 78-60 by New Mexico State (27-5) in a Western Athletic Conference semifinal Friday night at the Orleans Arena. The Roos shot only 35 percent from the floor. Conversely, the Aggies shot 56 percent from the field and 43 percent from 3-point range.
“I’m really proud of our guys for hanging in there throughout the year,” head coach Kareem Richardson said.
Dashawn King (Bronx, N.Y.) and Kyle Steward (Detroit, Mich.) both scored 12 points while LaVell Boyd (Chicago, Ill.) finished with 10.
UMKC got off to a hot start, pulling ahead 18-11 and 21-13 before the NM State offense caught fire. The Aggies tied the score 22-22 with 8:04 remaining in the first half and took the lead for good on an Ian Baker layup with 7:55 left before halftime.
The Aggies led 41-29 at the break. Following intermission, UMKC trimmed the deficit to 45-39 on a fast break layup by Broderick Newbill (Kansas City, Mo.) with 15:41 remaining but that was as close as the Roos would come. NM State pulled away and was in control for the remainder of the game.
The Roos finished 5-for-16 from 3-point range and 15-for-19 at the foul line.
Darnell Tillman (St. Louis, Mo.) finished with nine points and eight rebounds for UMKC.
Baker and Braxton Huggins both scored a game-high 18 points for the Aggies. Jemerrio Jones added 13 rebounds.
UMKC will now wait to see if the season continues with selection to a postseason tournament.