Men end season with loss

Luke Harman

Junior Reggie Chamberlain drives against IPFW.
Junior Reggie Chamberlain drives against IPFW.

The UMKC Men’s Basketball team fell to Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) 82-57 on Saturday, February 26th as they finished out their regular season in a disappointing fashion in front of a full house at Swinney Recreation Center.

As the season finale, this game coincided with the honoring of three key team members for the Roo’s Senior Night: Jay Couisnard, Spencer Johnson and Bakari Lewis.

Lewis racked up 16 points on the night while fellow seniors Johnson and Couisnard pitched in with nine points and two points, respectively.

With Couisnard nursing a braced left knee for the duration of his time on the court, the point-scoring reigns were picked up by junior Reggie Chamberlain. On the night, he matched a career best of 23 hard-fought points.

The Roos (16-13) (9-9 in Summit League play) were ultimately left with too much ground to make up during the middle portion of the first half after some excellent Mastodon scoring (18-11)(11-7).

Right from the offset, German-born Max Rockmann had given the Gold and Blue the opening score of the game but the cheers soon stopped as IPFW ran into an 8-4 lead before Lewis answered back with a three of his own.

The Mastodons quickly answered back and as the momentum turned in their favor, which produced an astonishing 18 points without reply, leaving the Roos with an uphill battle as the scoreboard read 26-7 with 8:20 left in the half.

Unfortunately, this was just too big of a deficit for the Roos to overcome. Lewis offered some effort to stall the Mastodon run as he dispatched a pair of free-throws before the buzzer rang out to send the Roos into the locker room down 41-23.

Chamberlain made some jumpers early in the second half to reduce UMKC’s deficit by four points, but IPFW soon inflated their cushion to 21 points. They kept the lead well intact with scores from Frank Gaines, who led his team to victory with 21 points of his own.

IPFW was relentless in the paint as they pushed the Roo’s to defend on every occasion possible, increasing their lead to a game-high 26 at one stage late in the second half.

The injury list of the Roo’s had seemingly affected the flow of their roster as they struggled to develop an sort of momentum as the minutes ticked down agonizingly for the Kangaroo faithful. The night rounded off in a scoring battle, but ultimately proved too far-fetched for the Roos as the score concluded in a Mastodon victory of 82-57.

On a positive note, however, the Roos garnered a No.6 seed for the Summit League Championship after an excellent over-all regular season campaign. The destination will be Sioux Falls, South Dakota and the Roos will play the IUPUI Jaguars, March 6 as their march towards the 2011 Summit League Championship Tournament title takes center stage.

The Roos will need to put this home defeat to IPFW behind them quickly as the business end of the season fast approaches next weekend.

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