|Vandals visit UMKC in finale|
MOSCOW, Idaho – With the possibility of earning as high as the No. 4 seed in next week’s Western Athletic Conference tournament, the Idaho men’s basketball team visits Kansas City on Saturday with a 7:35 (PT) tip in the regular season finale.
An Idaho win Saturday coupled with a Chicago State loss to Seattle U would give the Vandals the No. 4 seed. It would also send the Vandals into the tournament as winners of four of their last five regular season games. However, a loss could drop Idaho as far as the No. 7 seed, but doesn’t eliminate the possibility of the No. 5 or 6 seed.
The Vandals enter Saturday’s contest at 13-17 overall and 6-9 in WAC play. UMKC sits at 10-18 and 7-8 in the WAC. The ‘Roos took an 80-74 win in Moscow in the league opener for both teams back on Jan. 2. Stephen Madison scored 20 points, Glen Dean had 19 and Sekou Wiggs added 18 in that game but the ‘Roos attempted 10 more field goals than the Vandals. Nelson Kirksey scored 20 points for UMKC and Martez Harrison added 18. UMKC had a 13-7 advantage in second-chance points and a 14-10 edge in offensive rebounds in the game, and owned a +3 turnover margin for the game.
UMKC has won three straight games entering Saturday a streak that began with a 74-56 win over regular-season WAC champion Utah Valley on Feb. 22. That win snapped a six-game UMKC skid and a 2-9 slump in its previous 11 games. Martez Harrison leads the ‘Roos with 17.1 points per game while adding 3.5 assists. UMKC averages 69.1 points per game, and gives up 76.2.
The Vandals and ‘Roos could easily meet again in the WAC quarterfinals on Mar. 13, as several scenarios have Idaho and UMKC earning the No. 4 and 5 seeds in the upcoming tournament.