Sixth-ranked Mules outlast Fort Hays State 80-71

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(HAYS, Kan.) — The sixth-ranked Mules finished the game on a 13-4 run and beat Fort Hays State 80-71 on Thursday night at Gross Memorial Coliseum. The win improves UCM’s record to 8-0 overall and 1-0 in MIAA play.
The Mules trailed by as many as seven points in the second half against the Tigers (4-3, 0-1 MIAA), but rallied to tie the game and take the lead with just over 8:00 to play in regulation. UCM pushed the lead to five at 65-60 with just under six minutes to play, but a 7-2 run by Fort Hays State tied the game at 67-all with 3:48 left in regulation. That’s when the Mules made their run.
Dillon Deck scored on back-to-back layups to give UCM a 71-67 lead they would never relinquish. The Tigers pulled to within a pair on Dom Samac’s layup, but Rakeem Dickerson made 1-of-2 free throws and Preston Brunz drilled a three-pointer to put UCM up by six with 98 seconds to play and the Mules were able to ice the game away at the foul line.
UCM jumped out to an early 4-0 lead to start the game only to see FHSU go on an 11-4 run to grab the lead behind some hot three-point shooting. The game see-sawed back and forth through the opening minutes of the game before the Mules grabbed a five-point lead at the 11:47 mark at 19-14.
The Tigers continued their hot shooting and opened up a lead as big as six points at 34-28 with 3:53 left in the half. They would go into the intermission with a 39-34 lead aftr James Fleming’s three-pointer in the closing seconds.
The Mules shot 65 percent from the field, 32-of-49 and were 7-of-10 from beyond the arc for 70 percent. UCM was 9-of-12 at the foul line for 75 percent.
TJ White led UCM in scoring with a career-high 20 points to go along with six assists and four rebounds. Deck had 17 points and a game-high five rebounds off the bench. Dickerson finished with 14 points and Brunz had 11. Dickerson had six assists and Brunz dished out four.
FHSU was 23-of-49 from the field for 46 percent, but they shot 12-of-22 from three-point range for 54 percent. The Tigers made 13-of-15 at the charity stripe for 86 percent. Craig Nicholson led the Tigers with 19 points and four assists. Samac and Royce Williams each finished with 12 points.
The Mules outscored Fort Hays State 38-16 in the paint and held a 27-20 edge in rebounding. The UCM bench outscored FHSU’s 44-22.
UCM is back in action on Monday night when they welcome Alderson Broaddus to the Multi for a 7 p.m. non-conference matchup. A pay-per-view webcast is available through Stretch Internet. The webcast can be accessed through links on the UCM athletics website or by going to portal.stretchinternet.com/ucmo/.