’Muni was rockin’ : Men’s basketball defeats Neighboring Rockhurst

Dan Moreno

mensbball

The men’s basketball team opened its season with a 90-85 victory over the Rockhurst Hawks in front of 2,635 loud fans in the newly renovated Municipal Auditorium.

The Hawks were a good challenge in the exhibition match as the Roos prepare for the regular season. UMKC earned the victory with 21 points from Kansas City-native Frank Williams, Jr.

The victory was not enough for head Head Coach Kareem Richardson, who seemed concerned about the defense.

“We did lots of good things and lots of bad things,” Richardson said. “We gave up 80 points and many easy baskets in our transition and half-court defense.”

Even though Richardson considers defense as one of the Kangaroos’ staples, the offense was strong with freshman Martez Harrison scoring 17 points followed by senior Nelson Kirksey with 16 points.

“Just like I told the guys, this is a process,” Richardson said. “We’re not going to have it all solved after our first exhibition game.”

UMKC’s largest margin was 15 when Kirksey shot a three-pointer to end the first half 53-39.  During the second half the Roos had erratic defense at first, but Roos then they focused on getting the ball inside and rebounding.

Even though “Muni” was not even half full, the atmosphere was splendid. The UMKC dancing team and cheerleaders, accompanied by the UMKC band, made the arena feel like a true basketball home.

“It was rockin’ in here, we could feel that music in the locker room during half time,” Richardson said. “We are really appreciative because we can really feel the vibe.”

Next up, the Roos will open their regular season against Emporia State University this Friday at 3:05 p.m. at the Municipal Arena before heading to Omaha, Neb., to face Creighton.

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