Sophomore forward Trinity Hall put together a career night in helping the UMKC Kangaroos to a 72-67 victory over Canisius on Friday night at Municipal Auditorium. The Kansas City, Kan. product poured in 27 points in front of 4,432 fans on “Boy Scout Night” at the arena.
The ‘Roos (7-5) had to shake off a sluggish start to the game as the Golden Griffins (1-8) crashed the boards for an 11-3 lead in the opening 5:47. Although UMKC cut it to only two with 11:54 on the clock thanks to a pair of buckets by Hall, Canisius was there for the answer, going on an 8-0 rally, including two three-pointers to make it 21-11 with 10:21 on the clock.
That was the biggest advantage of the day for the Golden Griffs as the Kangaroos woke up on offense. The three-point shot didn’t fall all night for UMKC, so it had to find a different way to get back in the contest, and that was get to the bucket.
Hall put up six points during a 13-2 rally that saw the Kangaroos take their first lead of the game with 5:20 on the clock. The lead came on a follow-up tip-in by Hall after an Estan Tyler steal that led to a fast break. Tyler was playing in his first game since Dec. 2 at Oakland due to injury.
The Golden Griffins took a 31-30 lead into the break though, snagging 10 offensive boards as a team, including 10 from forward Josiah Heath. Hall led all scorers with 14, but both squads shot poorly from the field, hitting around 32 percent each.
The final stanza started in favor of the Kangaroos, as they stepped up the pressure on the defensive end. After both squads traded buckets in the first 45 seconds, UMKC held Canisius without a field goal until the 13:16 mark, resulting in an 18-3 scoring run and a 14-point lead for the ‘Roos. UMKC got points from five different players during the rally.
For the next 10 minutes, the Kangaroos kept the Griffs at an arms reach, hovering between a 12 and eight point lead. That changed with just more than three minutes to play when Canisius started to shut down the ‘Roo attack. The Golden Griffins cut it to five on two occasions with less than two minutes to play, but the ‘Roos answered with buckets each time.
A three-pointer by CC’s Gaby Belardo with 1:24 left cut it to four, but an offensive rebound and put-back by Hall moved it back to five with 50 seconds remaining. Another Griffin three with 21 seconds left cut the margin to three, and UMKC junior Thomas Staton was fouled after the in-bounds pass, but he hit both free throws to put it back to five and essentially seal it. A steal by Tyler on the defensive end with 10 seconds left gave Hall a chance to put the exclamation point on the win with a breakaway dunk.
The Kangaroos hit 50 percent in the final half, taking the majority of their shots inside the three-point line. For the game, UMKC had a 15-to-7 assist-to-turnover ratio, while CC had a 6-to-14 spread. The ‘Roos also out-scored the Griffins by a 38-28 margin in the paint.
Sophomore forward Kirk Korver had his second double digit game of the season with 10 points, while senior guard Reggie Chamberlain tallied 10 on a rough shooting night. Staton had a strong second half, tallying all of his eight points, four assists, and two steals in the period.
The Kangaroos will head to East Lansing, Mich. on Monday night for a contest with the Michigan State Spartans on the Big Ten Network. The game is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. (Central).