KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Southern Illinois University Edwardsville missed its first five shots Wednesday night, fell behind and never could recover, falling to UMKC 82-64 in men's basketball at Swinney Recreation Center on the UMKC campus.
"We came out of the gate real soft tonight," SIUE head coach Lennox Forrester said. "You can't do that when you're facing a good team."
UMKC built a 14-0 lead before the Nikola Bundalo's jump-hook got SIUE on the board with 15:40 to play in the half.
The Kangaroos shot 50 percent from the floor for the half, and never let the Cougars get close. SIUE, 1-4, hit 10 of 28 shots in the first half. Trinity Hall knocked down a three-pointer with four seconds to play in the period to extend the UMKC lead to 20 (47-27) at the break.
UMKC, now 4-0, pushed the lead to as much as 27 in the second half, before the Cougars managed to chip away.
"I thought we came out with a little more intensity in the second half," Forrester said. "I told (the team) at half we couldn't get it all at once. I thought we could chip away at it."
The Cougars shot 48 percent (15 of 31) in the second half, and 42 percent for the game.
UMKC, which is off to its best start since 2001, out-rebounded the Cougars 42-30.
Bundalo led the Cougars in scoring, for the second consecutive game, with 16 points. He was 8 for 14 from the floor. Bundalo also grabbed seven rebounds. Corey Wickware scored 14, marking the fourth consecutive game the junior guard has scored in double figures this year. Wickware added a team-high eight rebounds. Michael Messer scored eight, and added a team-high three steals.
Jay Cousinard scored a career-high 26 points to lead four `Roos in double figures. Spencer Johnson scored 11 and grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds for UMKC.
SIUE will stay on the road to take on Iowa Friday evening. Tipoff against the Hawkeyes is set for 5: 30 p.m.
"We'll watch some film and see if we correct some things," Forrester said. "We have to be ready."