UMKC trailed start-to-finish in a 63-61 loss to Utah Valley St. Thursday in Oren, Utah. It was a rather odd evening for the Kangaroo’s defense. In the first half, UMKC allowed the Wolverines to shoot 76.5 percent from the floor (13-of-17). Despite the defensive melt-down, the ‘Roos only trailed 40-31 after the first half.
In the second half, the defensive pressure that was missing had now arrived, as UMKC held Utah Valley St. to a paltry 24 percent (6-of-25) over the final 20 minutes.
UMKC eventually trailed by as many as 13 points in the second half before slowly chipping away at the lead, but UVSC kept getting it back to around eight or nine points.
With 2:57 to go, the Kangaroos trailed 59-50. A Tim Blackwell three pointer, a couple of free throws from Brent Stephens and a Quinton Day steal and lay up, off-set by a single free throw from UVSC’s David Heck, put UMKC back in the game. They trailed 60-57, with 2:02 to go. But Heck made two more free throws to move the lead back to five points.
A jumper from Kalu Guasco cut the lead to 62-61 with five seconds to play. A quick foul put Richard Troyer to the line for the Wolverines and he hit just one of the two free throws. Down 63-61, the Kangaroos had time for one more play, but a long shot from Day missed and UMKC lost.
UMKC is now 9-12 on the season, while UVSC improved to 12-11.
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