The Central Missouri Mules put up quite a fight in their exhibition opener against the Missouri Tigers, but came up short in their upset bid falling 92-79 Friday night at Mizzou Arena. It was Mizzou’s final exhibition game. The Mules led by as many as eight points in the second half, before a big second half run led the Tigers to the win.
Mizzou outscored the Mules by 15 points (49-34) in the second half and hit 33 of 45 (73.3-percent) free throws. UCM only got to the free throw line 13 times on the night, making good on six of their attempts.
Mizzou was led by Earnest Ross’ team-leading 25 points, junior guard Jordan Clarkson added 24 points and made 9 of his 10 free throws. Clarkson shot 50-percent (7-of-14) from the field on the evening, and also knocked down a three pointer.
Central Missouri led 56-55 with 14:05 to play. Ryan Magdziarz hit one of two free throws to extend the lead to two and a TJ White layup made it 59-55. White hit another layup and the lead was six. Following a pair of Missouri free throws, White scored four more quick points and the Mules matched their largest lead at 65-57 with 9:59 to play in the game.
The Tigers responded with an 8-0 in a little over a minute to tie the game at 65-all. The game was tied again at 67-67 when Ryan Donald added a dunk to give UCM a 69-67 lead. Jabari Brown hit a three to give Mizzou a 70-69 lead and a layup by Johnathan Williams made it 72-69. Clarkson sparked an 11-0 run to give the Tigers an 83-72 lead they would never relinquish.
Magdziarz led UCM with 17 points on 7 of 13 shooting. White was a perfect 6 of 6 from the field for 13 points. The Tigers out-rebounded the Mules 48-30 and held a 19-9 lead in second chance points. The Mules held a 44-34 lead in points in the paint and the UCM bench outscored Mizzou’s bench 42-16.