(WARRENSBURG, Mo.) — The Central Missouri Mules used a 26-5 run in the second half to pull away from Nebraska-Kearney for an 85-65 win on Saturday afternoon at the UCM Multipurpose Building.
The win improves UCM’s record to 11-2 overall and 3-1 in MIAA play.
The game was a back-and-forth battle in the first half with neither team able to seize control. After a three by UNK (4-6, 2-3 MIAA) to open the game UCM scored six straight to grab the early lead.
The Mules upped the lead to six at 15-9 on a three from Jon Gilliam with just under 14 minutes to play in the half, but a 7-0 run by the Lopers gave them a 16-15 lead just two minutes later. UCM came back with five straight points of their own to regain the lead.
Central Missouri pushed the lead to six a couple of different times during the first half, but UNK responded each time. The Mules led 34-28 with 2:35 left in the half following a TJ White tip-in, but UNK closed the opening period on a 9-4 spurt to pull within 38-37 at halftime.
Nebraska-Kearney grabbed the lead right out of intermission on a three by Tyler Shields, but Dillon Deck‘s three-point play gave the lead back to UCM and Charles Hammork‘s driving layup pushed the lead to three with 18:13 to play.
A pair of free throws from Kevin Dineen cut the UCM lead to one, but back to back jumpers from Hammork pushed the lead back to five at 47-42. Mike Dentlinger’s three-point play at the 15:30 mark pulled UNK with a bucket, but that’s when the Mules made their run.
Back-to-back threes by Daylen Robinson, including a four-point play on the second ignited the run that saw the Mules score 26 of the next 31 points to open a 73-50 lead with 8:11 to play in the game. The lead didn’t dip below 19 points the rest of the way as UCM improved to 6-0 at home this season and ran their home court winning streak to 20.
Robinson led UCM with a game and career-high 26 points. He also had seven assists, four steals and four rebounds. White finished with 15 points and nine rebounds off the bench, while Gilliam and Hammork each chipped in 12.
The Mules were 27 of 56 from the field for 48 percent and made 7 of 16 from behind the three-point line for 43 percent. UCM was 24 of 32 at the foul line for 75 percent.
Central Missouri held a slight edge in rebounding, 34-33, but did force 25 UNK turnovers and had 14 steals.
Ethan Brozak led the Lopers with 15 points and seven rebounds off the bench, while Shields had 14 points. UNK was 23 of 55 from the floor for 41 percent, including 6 of 16 from beyond the arc for 37 percent. UNK made 13 of 18 at the charity stripe for 72 percent.
The Mules return to action on Monday night as they play Washburn at the UCM Multipurpose Building for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff. The game can be heard live on 1450 KOKO, 98.5 The Bar and warrensburgradio.com. A pay-per-view webcast is also available through AmericaOneSports.com and the UCM Media Network. The webcast can be accessed at AmericaOneSports.com.