KANSAS CITY – Missouri-Kansas City used a 14-0 second half run to help lift it to an 80-67 win over the McNeese Cowboys here Saturday night in men’s college basketball action.
The run started after the Cowboys (3-7) went up 44-41 after a Roydell Brown layup with 14:20 left to play in the game. From that point, the Kangaroos (4-8) scored 14 straight to go up 55-44 at the 10:52 mark and never lost the lead through McNeese managed to pull to within four points at 62-58 with 5:25 left to play.
The Roos knocked down 8 of 12 from long range in the second half and hit 65 percent overall (17 of 26) in the final 20 minutes.
But McNeese was right there with them, aside from the run. After falling behind 55-46, the Cowboys made their next six shots from the field to pull with within 62-58.
A layup by James Harvey, who scored 11 on the night as one of four McNeese players to score in double-figures, made it a 64-60 game with 4:39 to play, but UMKC’s Jordan Giles and Rob Whitfield sank back-to-back three-pointers to make it a 10-point game with 3:41 left and the Cowboys were never able to get any closer than seven points the rest of the way.
Sha’Markus Kennedy led the Cowboys with 14 points on 7 of 8 shooting, but he fouled out of the game with 2:59 to play and McNeese trailing 70-63.
Kevin Hunt added 11 points while Roydell Brown scored 10 to go along with a game-high 11 rebounds for his fifth double-double on the season.
Rob Whitfield led the Roos with 19 points and hit 5 of 8 from 3-point range. Xavier Bishop scored 16, Giles had 14 and Brandon McKissic 10.
McNeese shot 50 percent for the game (27 of 54) and hit 54 percent in the second half (15 of 28). But the Cowboys struggled from long range, hitting just 3 of 14 for 21 percent.
UMKC connected on 57 percent from the field (29 of 51) and was 11 of 24 from behind the arc for 46 percent.
The Cowboys led 15-10 through the first nine minutes of the game but turned the ball over in their next five possessions as UMKC took advantage by scoring 10 straight to go up 20-15 after a Jamel Allen dunk with 9:57 to play in the first half.
After falling behind 27-20 at the 7:06 mark, Will Robinson scored the next four points and a Jarren Greenwood jumper with 2:57 to play tied the game at 29-29 to cap a 9-2 Cowboy run.
The Roos led 31-29 at the half after a Bishop jumper in the paint with 14 seconds to play.
The Cowboys return home on Tuesday night when they host Louisiana-Lafayette at 6:30 at the H&HP Complex.