Cold shooting dooms Mules in first loss of the season to Central Oklahoma

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(WARRENSBURG, Mo.) — The third-ranked Central Missouri Mules shot a season-low 29 percent from the floor and were held to just one field goal over the final 8 minutes as they fell 72-57 to Central Oklahoma on Thursday night at the Multipurpose Building.
The loss snaps UCM’s 16-game winning streak, dating back to last season, and their 33-game home court winning streak.
The Mules (10-1, 1-1 MIAA) jumped out to an early 9-6 lead in the first five minutes of the game. UCM was able to extend the lead to five at 15-10 with 13:15 to play in the half on a Tony Cochran three-pointer. The Bronchos (10-2, 3-0 MIAA) pulled to within one at 17-16, but two free throws from Dillon Deck and a jumper from Kyle Wolf once again made it a five-point lead with 10:47 to play in the opening period.
An 11-0 run by Central Oklahoma turned a five-point UCM lead into a 27-21 deficit with 6:18 to play in the half. A Preston Brunz three cut the lead to three, but the Bronchos quickly pushed the lead to eight at 34-26 with 3:01 on the clock. TJ White scored a layup and three-pointers from Brad Woodson and Cochran tied the game at 34 heading into halftime.
UCO opened the second half on an 8-2 run to take a lead they would never relinquish. The Bronchos pushed the lead to 10 at 50-40 with 15:50 to play in the game. A 7-3 spurt by the Mules cut the lead to six wit 12:52 to play in the game only to see UCO push the lead back to double digits at the 9:45 mark.
Brennen Hughes scored seven straight points to  cut the Broncho lead to three at 57-54 with 8:27 to play in the game, but the Mules went cold and wouldn’t score another point until a Rakeem Dickerson three with 24 seconds left in the game. During that span the Bronchos outscored UCM 15-0 to open an 18-point lead.
Dickerson led UCM with 16 points, but was just 5-of-17 from the floor. No other Mule finished in double figures. Hughes finished with nine points and a career-high 11 rebounds.
UCM was 20-of-67 from the floor and 7-of-22 from beyond the arc for 31 percent. The Mules were 10-of-17 at the foul line for 58 percent.
UCO shot 26-of-53 from the field for 49 percent and 9-of-16 from beyond the arc for 56 percent. The Bronchos made 11-of-20 at the foul line for 55 percent. Mahlon Jones led all scorers with 18 points and Cal Andrews chipped in 17. The Bronchos outscored the Mules 32-18 in the paint and blocked seven UCM shots.
The Mules return to action on Saturday morning at 10:05 a.m., hosting Northeastern State at the Multi. The game will be broadcast to a national television audience on CBS Sports Network. UCM Concessions by Sodexo will be serving free breakfast to fans once they enter the arena beginning at 9 a.m.