No. 3 Midwestern State’s Chris Hagan hit a shot with 58 seconds left for a 60-59 Mustang win in the NCAA South Central Region men’s basketball championship game on Tuesday night over the No. 7 Central Missouri Mules.
The top-seeded Mustangs (31-2) came out on fire going up 16-2 by the 13:06 mark, led by Craig Green, who drilled two three-pointers in that stretch. The second-seeded Central Missouri (27-4) offense had only three field goals through the first 16:30, but hit four in the last 3:13 to close the gap. MSU led by 14 before that final three minutes when the Mules made a mini-run, sparked by buckets from Alex Moosmann and Sanijay Watts, before Bryce Brunz drilled a three with 52 seconds left to cut it to 26-19 at the intermission.
Green finished the half with a game-high 13 points for the Mustangs, while Watts had eight for UCM. Central Missouri hit only 30.4 percent in the half, while MSU hit 44.0 percent.
The Mules picked up where they left off to end the first period to start the second, going on a 14-1 run to take a 33-27 lead with 16:09 remaining. The Mustangs fought back to tie it at 36 on a Hagan free throw, followed by two more Hagan buckets to take a four-point lead.
Central Missouri took the lead right back on a couple Ryan Harris free throws with 10:39 left, and from then on there was four more lead changes. The biggest margin would come at the 3:02 mark when Watts drilled a couple more charity tosses to make it 59-53. The Mules did not score the rest of the way though, missing two threes and a layup, while turning it over twice.
The Mules were paced by 29 points from Watts, who also had nine boards. Fellow senior Moosmann finished with 13 points and six assists.
Story courtesy of UCM athletics.