(ST. CHARLES, Mo.) – The Central Missouri Mules (15-4, 9-2 MIAA) had their nine-game winning streak snapped, falling 83-82 to Lindenwood (14-5, 7-4 MIAA) in the final seconds at the Hyland Arena on Saturday afternoon. The Lions made two free throws with five seconds left to get the win after UCM had taken an 82-81 lead on a Reggie Stallings three with 10 seconds remaining.
The Mules and Lions battled the first half, with neither team taking more than a six point lead the entire stanza. Lindenwood opened up a 4-0 lead after Brett Thompson made two lay-ups on back-to-back possessions before Stallings hit two free throws with 18:19 on the clock to give the Mules their first points of the afternoon and pull them within two, 4-2.
The Lions responded though as Cody Sorenson hit one of his game-high four three-pointers to extend the advantage to 7-2. The Mules fought back and took their first lead of the game at the 13:20 mark of the first half when Charles Hammork drained a shot from behind the arc to make it 15-12 Mules. The Lions once again answered, going on a 9-2 run to extend the lead back to six with 8:23 remaining in the first stanza.
Lindenwood retained a six point lead until the Mules went on a 14-2 run in the closing minutes of the half to take a six point lead with 52 seconds remaining in the half. The Mules went into halftime with a 40-37 lead after Lindenwood’s Tyler Ressel converted a layup and the following free-throw to complete the three-point play with 33 seconds remaining.
The Mules were 16-34 from the field in half number one for 47 percent while Lindenwood was just 11-35 for 31 percent.
The Lions came out on fire in the second stanza, scoring a blistering 23 points the first 10 minutes to open up a 60-44 lead over the Mules.
The Mules began to chip away at the lead though at the 6:10 mark, beginning with five consecutive points from Hammork courtesy of a three then a dunk to bring the Mules back within six, 72-66. Lindenwood converted two free-throws to inch the advantage back to eight but Matt Webb made a layup and Dominique Long sank a three to pull the Mules back to within three, 74-71, with 4:51 remaining in the second half.
The Mules would get no closer than three until 47 seconds remaining when Widgett Washington hit a free throw to make it 81-79 Lions.
Lance Beckwith was able to force a Lindenwood turnover with 13 seconds to go in regulation. Beckwith found Stallings who drilled a three with just 10.8 seconds remaining to give the Mules their first lead of the game since the 17:37 mark of the second stanza.
The Lions then in-bounded the ball after a Mule timeout and took it the length of the floor. With just four seconds remaining, Stallings was whistled for his fifth foul, giving Lindenwood a chance to either tie the game or take the lead. Richie Thompson stepped up to the line and calmly hit both free throws. The Mules had one last shot for the win but Hammork’s three pointer fell just short, giving Lindenwood the 83-82 victory.
The Mules were led in scoring by Hammork with a career-high 20 points. Stallings added 17 while Long had 15 and Webb posted 12 to round out the Mules in double-figures.
As a team, the Mules shot 44 percent from the field for the contest, going 31-70, but were just 8-21 from beyond-the-arc for 38 percent. The Mules went 12-16 from the free-throw line for 75 percent. The Lions also finished at 44 percent from the field, going 26-59. Lindenwood, however, posted a blistering 67 percent from three for the game, hitting 10 of their 15 treys, including a staggering 6-7 effort in the second half, for 86 percent. The Lions shot 87 percent from the charity stripe, going 21-24.
Thompson and Sorenson led the home team in scoring, each posting 14 points.
The Mules will look to bounce back when they travel to Edmond, Okla. for their third straight road contest Thursday night against Central Oklahoma. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m. at Hamilton Fieldhouse.
Airtime on the UCM Sports Network with Shawn Jones and Greg Hassler is set for 7:05 p.m. Listen to the game live on 1450 KOKO, 98.5 The Bar and www.warrensburgradio.com. 90.9 The Bridge will pick up the broadcast at tip-off. A pay-per-view webcast via AmericaOne Network is also available through AmericaOneSports.com.