The 7th ranked Central Missouri Mules were held to only 35% shooting in the second half, and despite a career-high 32 points from junior forward Sanijay Watts, their eight-game winning streak was snapped at Nebraska-Omaha 81-71 on Wednesday night.
Central Missouri (20-4, 13-4 MIAA) overcame a sloppy start to the game, committing seven turnovers in the first 2:35 (They average only 11.3 per game). UNO (16-8, 10-7 MIAA) had a 12-4 lead in the early minutes before the Mules started chipping away, tying it at 19 with 9:19 left. The two squads battled back and forth the rest of the period with UCM junior forward Sanijay Watts and UNO sophomore guard Mitch Albers leading the way. The Mavericks got the last shot though, and Michael Jenkins hit a deep three with four seconds left to help them go into the break up 37-34.
Watts led the Mules with 15 points in the opening period while senior guard Joe Young had nine. Albers tallied 13 in the half for the Mavericks. The Mules committed 10 in the first half.
Central Missouri took care of the ball in the second half, and scored the first eight points to grab a 42-37 lead, .but the Mavericks started to chip away after that. A jumper by Dion Curry with 7:48 left gave UNO a brief one-point lead, thanks to a 12-3 run.
Back-to-back buckets gave the Mules another advantage, but five answering points from UNO’s Andrew Bridger put the Mavericks up to stay. UCM failed to hit open jumpers down the stretch, but the Maverick offense kept scoring to help them get up by as many as 12 on free throws with 37 seconds left.
The Mules will now host Northwest Missouri on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. live on CBS College Sports TV. The 200 th meeting between the schools, Central Missouri holds a 115-84 advantage.