UMKC went scoreless for more than 4 minutes and couldn’t hold on to a slim lead, losing 78-75 to Georgia Southern in the semifinals of the Gulf Coast Showcase on Tuesday.
Isaiah Ross, who scored 16 points, gave UMKC its last lead, 73-71, on a three-pointer with 4:21 to play. Mike Hughes ended a three-minute Georgia Southern drought with a jumper that tied it with 1:41 remaining. Jared Hamilton had a steal and knocked down the go-ahead jumper at 1:14. An offensive foul on Ross, the Roos’ third straight turnover, produced a free throw by Tookie Brown at 21 seconds.
Ross brought UMKC to within one with a layup at 7 seconds, ending a dry spell of 4:14, but Hughes finished it with a pair of free throws.
The game featured 28 lead changes and 15 ties. Georgia Southern’s biggest lead was seven with 3 1/2 minutes left in the first half. The Kangaroos (2-4) never led by more than four. UMKC will play Penn for third place at 4 p.m. Wednesday.
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Hughes and Brown each had 17 points and Montae Glenn had a double-double for the Eagles (5-0). Glenn had 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting and 12 rebounds and Ike Smith had 12 points and matched Brown’s eight rebounds.
UMKC hit 12 of 28 three-pointers to 6 of 18 for Georgia Southern but the Eagles had a 45-28 rebounding advantage.