Idaho men's basketball team stumbles in WAC opener


MOSCOW — Nelson Kirksey scored 20 points, and UMKC hung on to beat Idaho 80-74 in a Western Athletic Conference nail-biting opener and first ever meeting for both schools on Thursday night.

UMKC, (4-9, 1-0 WAC), playing in their first WAC season, led the Vandals

40-32 at intermission but forfeited the lead to Idaho on a Glen Dean layup with 12:11 remaining making it 58-56.

The game stayed close with several lead changes down the stretch before UMKC went up 72-69 after Stephen Madison missed two free throws for Idaho (6-9, 0-1 WAC) and the Kangaroos’ Caleb Johnson dunked the ball with 2:02 remaining. It was all the spread UMKC need as the Kangaroos held on over the final seconds to pull out a six point victory.

Madison led the Vandals with 20 points. Idaho shot 48 percent from the field.

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