Feb. 22, 2014
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Kansas City started quick and didn’t let up, knocking off WAC leader Utah Valley University, 74-56, on Saturday night at the Municipal Auditorium. The Wolverines (16-10, 10-3) drop into a first-place tie with New Mexico State, setting up next Thursday’s contest at the UCCU Center.
Martez Harrison scored 17 of his 24 points in the first half for the Kangaroos (8-18, 5-8) with Nelson Kirskey dropping in 14 of his 16 in the second half. UMKC shot 50 percent (24-for-48) for the game with Utah Valley making just 35.6 percent (21-for-59). Holton Hunsaker scored 17 to lead UVU with Hayes Garrity adding 16 and Zach Nelson 15.
"Give Kansas City credit. It was their Senior Night and they took it to us," said head coach Dick Hunsaker. "I'm not sure that at any stage of this game, that we were competitive. Whenever we found any spark or tried to make a run, UMKC scored or made a play."
Martez Harrison hit his first five shots from the field, helping the ‘Roos build a 24-13 first-half lead while the Wolverines couldn't shake a slow start from the field. Nelson scored five straight points to get UVU within six, but Caleb Johnson 3-pointer to beat the buzzer pushed the lead back to 11, 36-25, at the half.
Harrison scored 17 points in the first half with UMKC hitting 53.6 percent from the field. Utah Valley was led by nine points from Nelson on 5-for-5 from the field but as a team the Wolverines were just 10-for-28 (35.7 percent) in the half.
In the second half, Hunsaker hit a 3-pointer to make it a nine point game, 37-28, but the ‘Roos responded with a 14-0 run capped by a Nelson Kirksey three. That bucket gave UMKC a 51-28 lead with Kirksey scoring 11 of the 14 points during the spurt.
The Wolverines got within 15 on a Hunsaker three but would get no closer.
Utah Valley outrebounded Kansas City 38-31, with Ben Aird
grabbing 11 to lead the way. Nelson had eight rebounds in addition to hitting 7-for-9 from the field.
Next Thursday’s against New Mexico State will tip at 7:05 p.m. MT. The Wolverines also host Texas-Pan American on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m.