Brent Friday’s bucket with three seconds left gave the Central Oklahoma Bronchos a 72-71 win over the Central Missouri Mules on Tuesday night at the UCM Multipurpose Building. The loss was the third straight for the Mules and second in a row on a last second shot.
The Mules (16-7) fell behind 6-2 early on, but five straight points gave UCM its first lead of the game at 7-6. The Bronchos (13-10) went back in front by four, but an 8-0 run by the Mules gave them a 17-13 lead with 11:44 to play in the half. The Mules pushed the lead to six only to see UCO quickly pull back to within three. Central Missouri would go on a 14-4 run to take a 13-point lead with 3:10 to play.
The Mules still led by 13 at 40-27 with 1:36 left in the half, but Central Oklahoma closed the frame on an 8-0 run to cut UCM’s lead to 40-35 at the break.
The Mules opened the second half with two quick threes from Boo Hunter to open a 46-35 lead, but the Bronchos responded with a 17-4 run to take a 52-50 lead at the 13:35 mark. UCM came right back to take the lead only to see the Bronchos go back in front on a three-pointer by Shane Carroll, one of six treys in the half for UCO.
Dominique Newton hit back-to-back jumpers to put the Mules back in front and Widgett Washington’s jumper at the 9:34 mark gave UCM a 60-55 advantage. The Bronchos cut the lead to a pair only to see Matt Webb hit a jump hook in the lane to push the lead back to four at 64-60 with 8:01 to play.
Central Oklahoma cut the lead to one and then took the lead, 67-66, on a Josh Davis layup with 2:29 to play. The Mules responded with a three from Hunter, but Spencer Smith drained a three to give UCO the lead right back at 70-69 with 1:43 to play.
The Mules had the ball with under 20 seconds to play when Washington banked in a short jumper to give UCM a 71-70 lead with seven seconds on the clock. After a timeout, Friday drove coast-to-coast and hit a layup with three seconds left to put the Bronchos in front. The Mules had one last chance when Hunter caught the inbounds pass near halfcourt, but as he turned to go up court he was pushed off his line and his off-balance three-pointer was off the mark.
The Mules shot 57 percent for the night, 29-of-51, including 8-of-18 from behind the arc. UCM was 5-of-6 from the foul line.
Washington led the Mules with 23 points and six assists, while Hunter and Newton finished with 11 points each. The Mules turned the ball over 11 times leading to 17 Central Oklahoma points. UCM did out-rebound UCO 27-22, but the Bronchos out-scored the Mules 38-24 in the paint.
The Mules look the snap their three-game losing streak when they return to action on Saturday at 18th ranked Northwest Missouri at 3:30 p.m.
Story courtesy of Central Missouri athletics.