WARRENSBURG, Mo. -- Central Missouri turned in its most complete performance of the season and routed eighth-ranked Fort Hays State 78-40 on Wednesday night at the UCM Multipurpose Building.

The Mules (8-4, 4-3 MIAA) led the game from start to finish scoring the first four points of the game on back-to-back jumpers from Matt Webb and Dominique Long. The Tigers (10-2, 4-2 MIAA) pulled to within a point at 6-5, but the Mules went on a 9-2 run over the next five and half minutes to open a 15-7 lead at the 10:54 mark.

Fort Hays State closed to within four at 19-15 with 6:37 to play in the half, but the Mules caught fire and went on a 19-5 run to close the half. UCM led 38-20 at the intermission after shooting 62 percent from the field and holding FHSU to 26 percent shooting.

The Mules opened the second half on fire and put the game away early. A three-pointer by Long on the first possession of the half gave the Mules a 21-point lead. The Tigers made three of four free throws to cut the lead to 18, but back-to-back layups by Lance Beckwith and a lay-in from Long put UCM back in front by 24 at the 16:32 mark.

TOP 25 SCORES
No. 3 Lincoln Memorial 80, Tusculum 66
No. 7 West Liberty 93 , Wheeling Jesuit 72
Central Missouri 78, No. 8 Fort Hays State 40
No. 14 Missouri Southern 82, Emporia State 73
No. 24 Benedict 76, Claffin 59

Fort Hays State got the lead under 20 with 14:03 to play only to see the Mules respond with a 14-2 run to open a 61-30 lead with 7:08 to play. UCM held the Tigers to 10 points the rest of the way and opened up a 40-point advantage with under a minute as the Mules cruised to the 78-40 win.

Long led the Mules in scoring with a career-high 24 points. Webb, Beckwith and D.J. Slifer each scored 11. The 11 points were a career-high for Slifer as were his five rebounds. Beckwith added a career and game-high nine boards.

UCM shot 63 percent from the field, 27-of-43, and 6-of-9 from three point range. The Mules were 18-of-26 from the charity stripe for 69 percent. They held Fort Hays State to its lowest shooting performance of the season and matched their lowest point total since joining the MIAA. The Tigers shot 13-of-51 from the floor for 26 percent and 4-of-18 from beyond the arc for 22 percent. FHSU was 10-of-11 from the foul line.

The Mules out-rebounded the Tigers 37-24 and had 17 assists compared to eight for FHSU. UCM forced 19 turnovers, but did commit 17 of their own.

The 40 points allowed was the lowest point total by an MIAA opponent in the Kim Anderson era and the lowest since the Mules gave up 37 points to Lincoln in the 1983-84 season.