The UMKC men’s basketball team wrapped up the 2018 non-conference portion of its schedule with an 89-53 loss to host Creighton University (9-4) tonight at the CHI Health Center Omaha. The Roos (5-10) were led by Brandon McKissic’s 11 points and three steals. Xavier Bishop and Rob Whitfield complimented McKissic in the scoring column with 10 points apiece.
The Roos head back to campus for the WAC opener against Chicago State on Jan. 5 at 2 p.m. CT. The game marks the first time UMKC will play all conference games at Swinney Center.
“Creighton’s ability to make three’s made them very difficult to defend,” said UMKC head coach Kareem Richardson. “It opened up driving lanes and other high percentage shots. We have to regroup and get ready for a tough conference season beginning January 5th.”
Early on, the teams traded baskets until Creighton managed an early 9-4 advantage. But a 3-pointer by Bishop sparked a 10-5 spurt to bring the Roos to a 14-14 tie at the 11:31 mark.
Creighton took control of the game from that point with rebounding and 3-point shooting. After UMKC’s Brandon Suggs hit a jumper in the lane, the host Bluejays went on an 28-10 run and ran to the locker room with a 42-24 halftime lead.
UMKC trimmed the deficit to 12 (42-30) with three-straight buckets to start the second half. Bishop hit two runners in the lane and McKissic converted a Creighton turnover into a dunk and the Roos were back in it.
But that was short-lived as Creighton quickly pushed the lead back to 20-plus points (54-34) at the 14-minute mark. The Bluejays never let the lead shrink below 20 the rest of the way.
Bishop was the team leader with three helpers. Marvin Nesbitt Jr., came off the bench to grab a career-high tying eight rebounds.
Creighton finished with 39 rebounds compared to UMKC’s 16. Martin Krampelj led the Bluejays with eight boards. Also, the Bluejays connected on 10-of-20 three-point field goals, which was in range of their season average and No. 4 ranking in the NCAA of 12.2 made treys.
Ty-Shon Alexander captured game-high honors with 19 points, while Davion Mintz had 13 and Krampelj added 11. The Bluejays shot a scorching 61.8 percent from the floor, including 65.5 percent in the second half.