(ST. CHARLES, Mo.) — The Central Missouri Mules shot 49 percent from the field and overcame a 17 point deficit at the free throw line in an 82-76 win over Lindenwood on Saturday afternoon at Hyland Arena.
The Mules (21-4, 13-3 MIAA) were 30 of 61 from the field and hit 7 of 23 from beyond the arc for 30 percent in the win. UCM was 15 of 24 at the foul line compared to 32 of 39 for Lindenwood (10-16, 5-11 MIAA). The Lions were 19 of 40 from the field for 48 percent andmade 6 of 18 from three-point range for 33 percent.
The Mules jumped out to an early lead and pushed that lead to 24-10 midway through the first half. The Lions made a run and closed to within 36-33 at halftime as they held the Mules without a field goal over the final 3:33 of the half.
The Lions continued their tough defense out of the break as the Mules didn’t make a field goal until under the 17:00 mark. The Lions took a 40-38 on a three from Tyler Ressel, but the Mules came back to grab a three-point lead at 45-42.
A 9-2 run by LWU gave the Lions a 51-47 lead with 12:35 to play, but four straight points from TJ White and a three from Jordan Epps gave the lead back to UCM. The run turned into a 16-1 run that gave the Mules a 63-52 lead with 8:27 left in the game. The Mules were able to keep the Lions at bay as they tried to crawl back into the game.
Lindenwood pulled to within four at 78-74 with :29 to play, but UCM iced the game away to garner their 21st win of the season.
The win clinches a spot in the MIAA Tournament quarterfinals and a bye to Kansas City on March 7.
Ressel led LWU with 24 points, while Brandon Marquardt finished with 17 and Darris Smith had 13.
The Mules are back in action next Saturday at Southwest Baptist for a 3:30 p.m. tipoff. The game can be heard live on 1450 KOKO, 98.5 The Bar and warrensburgradio.comwith Greg Hassler on the call.