The No. 7 Central Missouri Mules held off a late rally by No. 15 Fort Hays State, taking an 80-73 win and advancing to the NCAA South Central Region Championship game on Tuesday night. The Mules will take on the host and top-seed Midwestern State in the title game Tuesday at 7 p.m.
The second-seeded Mules led by as many as 17 early in the second half, but the third-seeded Tigers cut it to five with 5:02 left. Missed Central Missouri free throws down the stretch would keep the Tigers in the game, but the UCM defense clamped down to get it back to 11 and seal the win. Central Missouri was led by 22 points from Moosmann, while Sanijay Watts tallied 21 and Harris put up 17. Watts also led the way on the boards with nine.
Central Missouri will play in its third South Central Region Championship game in the last four years on Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. at D.L. Ligon Coliseum on the campus of host Midwestern State.