September 2, 2014

Mules hang with Mizzou in exhibition opener

The Mules and Mizzou battle during an exhibition game Friday night at Mizzou Arena. (Photo, Mizzou Athletics)

The Mules and Mizzou battle during an exhibition game Friday night at Mizzou Arena. (Photo, Mizzou Athletics)

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.