(WARRENSBURG, Mo.) – The Mules basketball team used a 9-0 run during the final minutes of the second half to defeat the Northwest Missouri State Bearcats 60-50 Saturday afternoon in front of 4,750 fans.
The victory marks the eighth straight for the Mules (14-3, 8-1 MIAA).
The Mules raced out to an early 5-0 lead in the first two minutes of the game after Dominique Long drilled a three and Ryan Magdziarz added a dunk. The Bearcats (13-5, 6-3 MIAA) answered with a layup from Dillon Starzl to cut the Mule advantage to just 5-2 with 17:30 remaining in the first stanza.
The Mules were able to hang onto the lead until Northwest Missouri knotted the game at 13 courtesy of a Starzl free throw with 8:43 remaining. The Bearcats took their first lead of the contest with 8:20 on the clock after Lyle Harris converted a layup.
Northwest increased the advantage to 17-13 before Matt Webb made a pair of free throws to bring the Mules back within two, 17-15, with 4:33 left in the first half. The Bearcats took a 25-24 lead into the locker room at half.
The Mules came out of halftime and retook a 26-25 lead after Widgett Washington sank two free throws, but Northwest Missouri answered with a 5-0 run for its largest advantage of the game, 33-28, at the 17:11 mark.
The Mules came back and tied the contest at 33 after Long nailed a jumper and buried a three with 15:40 left in the contest.
The Bearcats regained a slim 34-33 advantage when DeAngelo Hailey made a free throw, but Webb drove into the paint and hit a layup with 13:31 left to give the Mules the
lead for good. Northwest pulled within two at the 11:59 mark, but Charles Hammork once again answered for UCM, converting a layup to make it 41-37 Mules.
Northwest Missouri cut it to four with 4:53 remaining in the game but that’s as close as it would get.
Long led the Mules scoring with 13 points, going 5-9 from the field and 3-6 from beyond the arc. Webb posted a double-double, grabbing a game-high 10 rebounds while scoring 12 points. Washington also reached double figures for the Mules, scoring 11 while dishing out a game-high five assists.
As a team, the Mules went 23-53 from the field for the game, good for 43 percent, and were 4-12 from three for 33 percent.
UCM had 12 assists and 12 turnovers in the contest and out-rebounded the Bearcats, 39-28.
Hailey and Grant Cozad paced the Bearcats as they each scored 10 points. Northwest went 17-51 from the field for the game for 33 percent and were 5-14 from long range for 36 percent.
Northwest turned the ball over 12 times and had 10 assists.