(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) — The Central Missouri Mules defeated Missouri Western 80-57 on Wednesday night at the MWSU Fieldhouse.
The win improves UCM’s record to 23-4 overall and 15-3 in MIAA play.
The Mules jumped out to an early 13-7 lead and extended the lead to nine at 21-12 with just over nine minutes to play in the half. The Griffons (10-16, 5-13 MIAA) clawed their way back with a 10-2 run to pull within 23-22 at the 6:58 mark.
A 7-0 run for Central Missouri pushed the lead back to seven at 30-23 with 2:50 to go in the opening half. At halftime the Mules led by six, 32-26.
The Griffons got to within three at 34-31 early in the second half, but a 12-0 run by UCM gave the Mules a 46-31 lead with 14:46 left in the game. An 11-2 run later in the half gave the Mules a 20-point lead 57-37 and the rout was on.
The Mules pushed the lead to as many as 24 before setting for the 80-57 victory.
The Mules shot 53 percent for the game going 33 of 62 from the field. UCM was 6 of 16 from beyond the arc for 38 percent and 8 of 19 at the foul line for 42 percent.
UCM out-rebounded the Griffons 39-29 and held a 40-14 advantage in points in the paint.
MWSU was 17 of 48 from the field for 35 percent, including 5 of 17 from three-point range for 29 percent. The Griffons were 18 of 25 at the foul line for 72 percent.
Missouri Western was led in scoring by Kalvin Balque’s 15 points.
UCM dished out 17 assists in the win and committed just six turnovers, while forcing 11 MWSU giveaways.
The Mules are back in action on Saturday, hosting Northwest Missouri at 3:30 p.m. If the Mules beat the Bearcats they will claim a share of the MIAA regular season championship and earn the No. 1 seed in the MIAA Tournament.