GRAND FORKS, N.D. – For the second straight game, North Dakota took a Summit League foe down to the wire, but unfortunately the Green and White came up short again, falling to Kansas City 73-70 on Wednesday at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center.
Junior Aaron Anderson saw his 3-point attempt from the right wing to force overtime go just wide at the buzzer as a frantic comeback by the home team fell short.
UND (1-5) nearly overcame a 14-for-30 clip at the free throw line and a 41-28 deficit in rebounding, but the Kangaroos (4-4, 1-1 Summit) took advantage of those missteps by the home team to secure their fourth-straight win in the series.
“We didn’t guard the way we are capable of tonight,” UND head coach Brian Jones said. “And, we had a lot of empty possessions late because we missed free throws and layups. We have to keep working. We are only five, six games into the season and there is a long way to go.”
Junior Jamal Webb led UND with a season-high 20 points, while Anderson added 11 and Josh Schuler had 10 points to post double figures for UND. But, that trio combined to go just 8-for-19 from the stripe after the team came in shooting 73.5 percent for the season.
UMKC’s Nate Rogers scored 13 of his career-high 16 points in the first half to give the visitors a 37-33 advantage at halftime. He hit four 3-pointers in the contest after coming into the game having made just four in the Roos’ first seven contests.
Rogers led his team in scoring as all five UMKC starters reached double figures just a game after no starters reached that mark in a five-point loss to Western Illinois.
Rogers led the charge in the first half, but it was backcourt mate Estan Tyler that came up with the big shots down the stretch. Tyler, who sat out most of the first half because of foul trouble, scored all 12 of his points after the break to not allow UND to regain the lead.
After Rogers buried a 3-pointer on the Roos’ first trip down the court to open the game, UND took command for a stretch thanks to an 18-6 run. Unfortunately, Rogers stayed hot from beyond the arc and brought his team storming back to take the four-point lead at intermission.
Webb had 10 first-half points to pace UND, who led by as many as nine at the midway point of the half.
Rogers’ second 3-pointer of the game erased his team’s nine-point deficit and put the visitors back in the lead at 23-21. That capped a 14-3 run by the Roos.
Tyler gave UMKC its largest lead of the game at 52-42 with a jumper five minutes into the second half, but UND would close to within 71-70 on a driving layup by Anderson with just over six ticks remaining. Tyler would quickly be fouled, but the junior would bang home two free throws to make it a 73-70 contest.
Anderson had a decent look from the right wing, but his momentum pushed the ball off line and allowed the Roos to even their record at 4-4.
UMKC center Fred Chatmon led the visitor's efforts on the glass with 13 to finish with a double-double. He had 10 points along with Nelson Kirksey.
Webb and junior Brandon Brekke shared the team-high rebounding honors for UND with seven a piece. Webb and Anderson also each had four assists.
UND will return to the road for a clash with in-state rival North Dakota State on Sunday at the Fargodome. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m.