The No. 24 Central Missouri Mules scored 51 points in the second half to hand the Truman State Bulldogs a 76-46 loss. It was the biggest margin of victory in the series since 1937 when UCM grabbed a 53-12 win on its way to a national title.
It was also the largest margin of victory for the Mules over an MIAA team since 1997, when they knocked off Emporia State 103-70 in the conference tournament.
The Mules (14-3, 7-3 MIAA) took a 3-2 lead in the first two minutes of the game and didn’t trail the rest of the night. They got their lead to as much as 17-9 on a jumper by senior guard Joe Young. The Bulldogs (6-11, 1-9 MIAA) kept it close though, and cut it to a couple on two free throws by Vesko Filchev with 1:38 left in the period. The two squads traded threes before a jumper in the paint by Sanijay Watts gave the Mules a 25-21 lead at the break.
Neither squad shot the ball well in the period with UCM hitting 31 percent and the Bulldogs knocking down 30.4 percent. Tremaine Luellen had a game-high nine at the break, and the Mules used a 19-16 rebound advantage to grab the lead on 10 second-chance points.
After a slow start to the second stanza, Central Missouri went on a 14-2 run to make it 43-29 with 12:36 left. Young tallied seven of the Mules points in that rally, while classmate De’Andre Byrd got it started with a couple lay-ups.
The Mules used a 13-4 run a couple minutes later to move their lead to 20 by the 7:28 mark. The rally was capped by a thundering fast break dunk by Luellen, thanks to a steal by junior guard Alex Moosmann.
The Central Missouri defense was the key in the half as it held TSU to only 25 points, and none in the final 4:47. UCM also scored 16 points off turnovers in the period. Central Missouri shot a blistering 56.7 percent in the period and held TSU to only 30 percent. The only scoring threat for Truman was Filchev, who tallied 11 in the final stanza.
The Mules were led by Luellen with 18 points, while Young put up 17. Byrd also got in double-figures with 12 points, and had a team-high nine boards. Filchev led the Bulldogs with 17 and was the only player with more than eight points. Central Missouri committed only five turnovers in the game, while forcing 14 from the Bulldogs.
Story courtesy of UCM athletics