UMKC upsets Missouri in season opener

By Matt Vereen, 23 Sports

Friday, Nov. 14 –

Missouri Men’s Basketball opened the 2014-15 regular season at home with an upset loss to the University of Missouri Kansas City Friday night by a score of 69-61.

It was the first time Missouri has lost to UMKC after four straight wins over the Roos. Missouri Freshman Montaque Gill-Caesar led the Tigers with 21 points and seven rebounds, while sophomore Martez Harrison led UMKC to victory with 26 points, four rebounds and three assists.

After two home exhibition wins in the preseason, Missouri came out slow and found themselves down 11-5 after eight minutes of play. The Roos kept up the pressure as two three’s from UMKC’s Kelvin Jennings and Frank Williams Jr. highlighted a 16-4 run that gave them a 21-9 lead over Missouri.

Missouri responded with a 7-0 streak capped off by a three from sophmore Wes Clark to bring the game within five points. Despite another Missouri three from redshirt sophomore Keith Shamburger, two UMKC free throws and a goaltending call against the Tigers slowed Missouri’s momentum with only five minutes left in the first half.

UMKC maintained their lead for the remainder of the half as a three from Harrison and a personal foul on Missouri’s Clark sent the Roos into the lockers with a 33-24 lead.

Both teams came out battling in the second half as UMKC outscored Missouri 11-9 in the opening six minutes of play.

Missouri finally got things going, thanks to two three’s from Gill-Caesar and fellow freshman Tremaine Isabell to bring the Tigers within five points. After two UMKC free throws, four more points from the Caesar-Isabell duo shrunk the lead to one possession.

Unfortunately for Missouri, however, the score would not get any closer than that. A determined UMKC would hold onto the lead and eventually earn the 69-61 upset.

Missouri will be back in action for their second game of the season on Sunday, November 16 against Valparaiso. The game is set to begin at 5:00 at Mizzou Arena.