The 4th ranked Central Missouri Mules held off Missouri Southern Wednesday night to finish a three-game road trip going 3-0, winning 91-82. The victory marked the seventh consecutive season that UCM has won at least 18 games, all under head coach Kim Anderson.
The Mules (18-1, 11-1MIAA) and the Lions (12-7, 6-6 MIAA) played an uptempo first half with six big lead changes. in the opening period with six big lead swings. Alex Moosmann gave the Mules an 11-6 lead on a three with 16:43 on the clock, but the Lions would run it right back at Central Missouri, going on a 9-0 run to make it 15-11. UCM stormed back to make it 20-15, but Missouri Southern answered again with its last run of the half to take a 31-26 advantage with 7:44 left. That’s when the Mules would go on an offensive tear finishing the half on a 27-9 run to go up 53-40 at the break.
In the second half, Southern made a game out of it as they pressed the Mules, who got up by 16 on the opening possession, and cut the lead to five with in the first 3:15. The Lions grabbed the lead with just over nine minutes to go, but it didn’t last long.
Sanijay Watts hit two shots in a row, followed by a layup to make it 72-67 Mules. UCM would lead the rest of the way, getting it up to 10 on a couple occasions and Southern getting no closer than five before the buzzer.
Central Missouri turned it over 18 times, giving the Lions 26 points off turnovers, but also out-scored MSSU 24-8 on second chance points. UCM had a 44-25 rebound edge.
The Mules return home this Saturday when they will face Pittsburg State at the Multipurpose Building in a 3:30 p.m. contest.