UMKC knocks off Utah Valley in WAC tournament 80-78

LAS VEGAS -- Martez Harrison scored 24 points and sparked a game-changing run to lead fifth-seeded UMKC to a come-from-behind 80-78 victory over fourth-seeded Utah Valley in the opener of the Western Athletic Conference basketball tournament Thursday.

The Kangaroos (12-18) play top-seeded New Mexico State (22-9) in a semifinal Friday.

Utah Valley had defeated UMKC in their two regular-season meetings and led by 13 with 16:48 remaining.

UMKC took a 71-70 lead off six straight points from Harrison. Jaden Jackson responded with five points for the Wolverines (12-18). Harrison then opened an 8-0 run with a bucket, added another and also grabbed rebound and passed to Thaddeus Smith for a fast-break layup and a 79-75 lead with 2:11 remaining. Cory Cardwell's half-court try missed at the buzzer.

LaVell Boyd scored 18 points and Darius Austin had 12 points and a career-high 16 rebounds for UMKC, which had 17 offensive rebounds for 16-3 edge in second-chance points.

Jackson scored 19 points and Dayon Goodman 18 for Utah Valley.