Mules run past Northeastern State on national TV

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(WARRENSBURG, Mo.) — The third-ranked Mules shot nearly 60 percent from the field and pulled away from Northeastern State for an 81-62 win in front of a national television audience on CBS Sports Network on Saturday morning.
The win improves UCM’s record to 11-1 overall and 2-1 in MIAA play.
The Mules jumped out to an early six-point advantage, leading 10-4 at the 15:25 mark. A three from Demone Harrison cut the lead to three, but a 7-2 run capped by a Brennen Hughes layup gave the Mules a 17-9 lead with 13:06 to play in the half.
Kyle Wolf buried a three-pointer and TJ White added a free throw to put UCM in front 21-11 midway through the first half. The RiverHawks (2-8, 1-3 MIAA) cut the lead to eight, but back-to-back threes from Jordan Epps gave the Mules a 32-21 lead with 5:34 remaining in the opening period. A quick 6-0 run by NSU cut the margin to eight, but a 7-0 run by UCM made it a 42-27 advantage. The RiverHawks hit a three at the buzzer and the Mules led 42-30 at halftime.
The RiverHawks cut the UCM lead to eight out of halftime, but the Mules responded with a 12-6 spurt that gave them a 55-41 lead with 11:44 to play in the game. Northeastern State was able to chip away and get the lead back to 10 at 62-52 with 7:54 to play in the game, but a quick 6-0 run by UCM made it a 68-52 margin at the 6:22 mark.
After an NSU three-point play made it a 13-point lead, the Mules scored nine straight points to stretch their lead to 22 at 77-55 with 3:20 to play. The Mules would coast to the 19-point victory.
Rakeem Dickerson led all scorers with 21 points on 7-of-9 shooting. He also added four assists. Epps shot 7-of-9 from the floor, including a career-high six three-pointers and finished with a career-high 20 points. TJ White added a double-double with 12 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Preston Brunz dished out a game-high six assists.
The Mules shot 59 percent from the floor, going 29-of-49. They were 12-of-23 from beyond the arc for 52 percent, but struggled at the foul line going just 11-of-25 for 44 percent.
Harrison was the only RiverHawk in double figures with 20. NSU shot 20-of-58 from the field for 34 percent and 6-of-24 from three-point range for 25 percent. They were 16-of-19 at the charity stripe for 84 percent.
The Mules out-rebounded the RiverHawks 37-29 and had 17 assists compared to just six for NSU. The UCM bench outscored NSU’s 44-19.
The Mules are off until Saturday, Jan. 3, when they travel to Kearney, Neb., to take on the Lopers at 7:30 p.m.