The Central Missouri Mules were better in every phase of the game Wednesday night in an 80-56 thumping of the Fort Hays State Tigers at Gross Memorial Coliseum. The win was the sixth straight for UCM, and the second away from home in the last five days.
It was also the first win in Hays since 1978-79 after dropping decisions in Head Coach Kim Anderson’s first two meetings with the Tigers in the MIAA era.
Central Missouri (11-2, 4-2 MIAA) came out of the gates strong and never looked back, going up by as many as 15 in the first 11 minutes of the game. The closest FHSU (9-4, 2-4 MIAA) would get the rest of the night was 11 at the 6:58 mark of the opening period. The Mules moved their lead to 21 a few minutes later on a jumper by junior forward Sanijay Watts, who had a big night. UCM went into the break with a 17-point advantage thanks to a jumper by junior guard Tremaine Luellen with one second left.
Central Missouri shot a blistering 66.7 percent from the floor in the first half, scoring 24 points in the paint and getting buckets from eight different players. UCM also out-rebounded the Tigers 17-to-9 in the period. Watts led all scorers with 12 at the break while Luellen had seven.
The Tigers tried to make a run at Central Missouri early in the second stanza, cutting it to 13 with 15:05 left, but UCM had an answer every time. Luellen hit a couple early threes to keep them at bay before Joe Young gave the Mules their next run. Up 46-32, Young scored the Mules next eight points on a couple threes and a jumper to stretch it to 20 with 12:44 left.
The next big rally was sparked by 13 points from Watts in a span of five minutes to leave UCM up 26 with 5:15 left. The lead would get to as many as 28 before it was over.
Central Missouri will head back to Warrensburg for a battle with MIAA newcomer Nebraska-Omaha at 3:30 p.m. in the Multi before heading out on the road for two more next week.
Story courtesy of Rob McCutcheon