Mules outlast Central Oklahoma 72-70

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(EDMOND, Okla.) — The Central Missouri Mules rallied from a 10-point second-half deficit and outlasted Central Oklahoma 72-70 on Thursday night at Hamilton Field House.
The win improves UCM’s record to 10-1 overall and 2-0 in MIAA play.
Central Oklahoma (7-3, 1-2 MIAA) jumped out to a 4-0 lead before Ryan Magdziarz‘s free throws at the 16:51 mark got UCM on the board. A three-pointer from Aaron Anderson extended the UCO lead to 7-2, but a 10-3 run by the Mules gave them their first lead of the night at 12-10 with 13:09 left in the first half.
The Bronchos scored five straight points to regain the lead, but UCM came right back with a 9-0 spurt to take a 21-15 lead with 8:55 to play in the opening period. The lead was still six at the 7:49 mark when the Bronchos went on a 16-3 run to grab a 33-26 lead with 3:07 left before the half. The Mules were able to get back to within 35-31 at halftime on a Charles Hammork layup.
UCO pushed the lead back to six on the first possession of the second half, but the Mules used a 15-7 run to regain the lead at 46-44 with 13:47 left in the game. UCO went right back in front on a three by Josh Gibbs, one of his four on the night and 12 for the Bronchos. A three from Cal Andrews on the next possession made it a four-point lead.
Dillon Deck converted a three-point play to pull UCM within one, but Seth Heckart drilled a three to push UCO back in front by four. It ignited a 13-4 run that gave the Bronchos a 63-53 lead with 7:58 left in the game.
Six straight points by the Mules cut the lead to four, but a Gibbs jumper at the 5:47 mark pushed the lead back to six. Kyle Wolf scored three consecutive points to cut the lead to three only to see UCO answer to push the lead back to five. Jon Gilliam drilled a three with 2:09 to play to pull the Mules within a pair at 69-67 and two possessions later Hammork stole a pass and slammed it home to tie the game at 69-all with 1:14 to play.
Gibbs made one of two free throws on the next trip down the floor to give UCO a 70-69 lead. The Mules answered with a driving layup from Hammork to go in front 71-70. The Mules defense held on the next possession and Ryan Donald was fouled with 1.3 seconds left after securing the rebounds. Donald missed the first free throw, but made the second to give UCM a 72-70 lead. Gibbs’ three-quarter court heave at the buzzer hit the front of the rim and UCM escaped with the win.
Hammork led UCM with 18 points and three assists. Jordan Epps and Gilliam both finished with 13 points.
The Mules shot 42 percent from the field, 22 of 52, and made 8 of 20 from three-point range for 40 percent. UCM was 20 of 25 at the foul line for 80 percent. They held a 16-8 advantage in fast break points and a 34-7 edge in bench scoring.
Gibbs led UCO with a game-high 27 points and 10 rebounds. Heckart added 14 points. The Bronchos shot 23 of 57 from the floor for 40 percent. They were 12 of 29 from beyond the arc for 41 percent and made 12 of 20 free throws for 60 percent.
UCO out-rebounded UCM 35-34 and had 16 assists compared to nine turnovers.
The win was the first for UCM in Edmond since the 1988-89 season.
The Mules are back in action on Saturday afternoon when they travel to Tahlequah, Okla., for a 3:30 p.m. showdown with Northeastern State.