JOPLIN, Mo. — Central Missouri ran its win streak to six games with an 81-68 win against No. 14 Missouri Southern on Wednesday. In the process, UCM snapped the Lions’ 14-game home court winning streak, which was the fourth longest active streak in Division II. The win also gave Central Missouri its third consecutive win against a ranked opponent.
The Lions (16-4, 8-4 MIAA) scored the first bucket of the game at the 18:41 mark to go in front 2-0. Central Missouri (13-4, 9-3 MIAA) tied the game on a jumper by Dominique Long at the 17:01 mark and took a 4-2 lead at the 16:20 mark on a layup by Matt Webb. Missouri Southern went back in front on a layup by Jordan Talbert at 6-4.
|TOP 25 SCORES|
|No. 4 Tarleton State 66, Cameron 51|
|Carson Newman 64, No. 5 Lincoln Memorial 61|
|No. 10 Midwestern St. 69, Texas A&M-Comm. 50|
|Central Missouri 81, No. 14 Missouri Southern 68|
|No. 16 Indiana (Pa.) 82, Lock Haven 44|
The Lions were in front 15-14 when they went on a 10-0 run to take a 25-14 lead with 9:29 to go in the half. MSSU extended the lead to 12 at 30-18 with 7:46 left in the opening period, but the Mules went on a 21-8 run to grab a 39-38 lead. Boo Hunter started the run with a three and ended it with another trey.
Missouri Southern went back in front on a pair of free throws from Keane Thomann, but Hunter responded with his fourth 3-pointer of the half to put UCM back in front 42-40. A Will Kirksey layup gave the Mules a 44-42 lead, but the Lions made a pair from the charity stripe and the game was tied 44-44 at halftime.
The Mules shot 55 percent in the first half, 17-of-31, including 6-of-9 from beyond the arc. Missouri Southern was 14-of-26 from the field for 54 percent, but just 1-of-7 from 3-point range. Foul shooting favored the Lions as they were 15-of-16 from the line and the Mules were 4-of-6 in the half.
The teams traded buckets out of the intermission with Central Missouri going in front by three, 55-52, on a Long layup and a pair of Lance Beckwith free throws. Beckwith extended the lead to five on a layup at the 13:23 mark. The Lions regained the lead at 60-58 at the 7:18 mark thanks to an 8-1 run.
Central Missouri tied the game on a layup by Webb and went back in front 62-60 on a steal and breakaway layup by Widgett Washington. The Lions regained the lead in the back-and-forth affair at 65-64, but the Mules seized control with a 13-0 run to take a 77-65 lead with 48 seconds to play. A three by Long started the run and Webb finished it with a nice reverse layup to give UCM its biggest lead of the game.
Marquis Addison drained a 3-pointer to stop the run and pull the Lions to within nine, but UCM made four consecutive free throws in the waning seconds for the 81-68 win.
Beckwith and Long led four Mules in double figures with 15 points each. Hunter had 14 and Webb added 12. Long had a team-high five rebounds and Beckwith had a game-high seven assists.
The Mules were 29-of-57 from the field for 50.9 percent and 9-of-18 from beyond the arc. UCM made 14-of-20 foul shots for 70 percent. Central Missouri also forced Missouri Southern into 22 turnovers compared to just 12 for UCM.
Thomann led the Lions with 24 points. Addison had 13, while Jason Adams and Jordan Talbert each finished with 12. Adams had a game-high nine boards.
Missouri Southern out-rebounded UCM 37-24 and had 13 second chance points, but the Mules had 11 steals and turned those into eight fast break points.