(PITTSBURG, Kan.) — The Central Missouri Mules used a big first half run to break open a close game as they rolled to an 88-62 win over Pittsburg State on Thursday night at John Lance Arena. UCM trailed 10-6 early in the game, but out-scored the Gorillas 49-16 the rest of the half.
The Gorillas (5-6, 1-3 MIAA) jumped out to that early four point advantage with 16:42 to play in the first half, but a jumper from Kyle Wolf started the run. Ryan Magdziarz drilled a three to put UCM in front 11-10.
The lead changed hands on the next three possessions before a 9-0 run gave UCM the lead for good. The Gorillas got to within six at 24-18 with 8:03 to play in the half, but a 20-2 run by UCM gave the Mules a 44-20 lead at the 4:03 mark. Central Missouri pushed the lead to 29 at the intermission, leading 55-26.
Both teams got off to a sloppy start in the second half with neither team able to do much offensively and comitting fouls on the defensive end. The lead never dipped below 22 during the second half as the Mules would lead by as many as 34 with just over six minutes to play.
Wolf led four Mules in double figures with 18 points to go along with seven rebounds. Magdziarz finished with 14 points, while Jon Gilliam and Daylen Robinson each finished with 10. Ten of the 12 Mules who played scored in the game.
UCM was 29 of 55 from the field for 53 percent and 8 of 22 from three-point range for 36 percent. The Mules made 22 of 32 free throws for 69 percent.
Devon Branch led the Gorillas with 17 points, but committed 10 turnovers as the Gorillas had 19 as a team.
PSU was 17 of 44 from the floor for 39 percent, 4 of 21 from beyond the arc for 19 percent and 24 of 34 at the charity stripe for 71 percent.
The Mules out-rebounded Pitt State 38-27 and held a 29-8 advantage in points off turnovers.
The 26-point win was the Mules’ largest margin of victory over the Gorillas since a 34-point win during the 1988-89 season.
UCM is back in action on Saturday night when they travel to Emporia, Kan. to take on Emporia State. Tipoff at White Auditorium is set for 7:30 p.m. The game can be heard live on the UCM Sports Network on 1450 KOKO, 98.5 The Bar and warrensburgradio.com with Greg Hassler on the call.