MOSCOW, Idaho – Kansas City used a 12-5 run over the final three minutes to secure an 80-74 victory over the Idaho men’s basketball team in the Western Athletic Conference opener for both teams on Thursday in the Cowan Spectrum.
Idaho junior Connor Hill hit three 3-pointers in the game, giving him 169 for his career and a new program record after Orlando Lightfoot’s record of 168 stood for 20 years. Hill finished with nine points, four rebounds and two assists in the game.
Senior Stephen Madison had his fourth double-double of the season, a 20 point, 10 rebound performance after going 6-of-11 from the field and 7-of-10 at the free throw line. He added three assists and a steal in the game. Senior Glen Dean tallied 19 points, four rebounds and four assists, and freshman Sekou Wiggs fell one point shy of his career high with 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Wiggs added eight rebounds.
The Vandals (6-9, 0-1 WAC) shot 48 percent from the field in the game, going 26-of-54, while UMKC (4-9, 1-0 WAC) hit 45 percent of its shots (29-of-65). Idaho held a slim 37-35 advantage on the glass but the ‘Roos led 13-7 in second-chance points. UMKC converted 11 Idaho turnovers in 10 points, while the Vandals scored eight points off eight turnovers.
Idaho trailed 40-32 at halftime but quickly erased the deficit and took its first lead since early in the game on a Dean layup that made it 50-48 in favor of the Vandals. Idaho built the lead to as many as five points on two occasions, including a 66-61 advantage with 6:34 to play, but UMKC used a 9-2 run to take a 68-66 lead. A 3-point play by Dean briefly gave the Vandals a one-point advantage, but then the ‘Roos used their 12-5 run to seal the victory.
Nelson Kirksey led four UMKC double-digit scorers with 20 points, while Martez Harrison added 18, Frank Williams scored 14 and Trinity Hall had 12.
WAC action continues for the Vandals on Jan. 4 when they host Chicago State at 7 p.m. in the Cowan Spectrum.