No. 17 Mules can't close out Hornets, fall in overtime

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(WARRENSBURG, Mo.) — The 17th-ranked Mules led by as many as 16, but couldn’t hold off an Emporia State rally and ultimately fell in overtime, 84-78, on Saturday afternoon at the UCM Multipurpose Building. The Mules led by 10 with under three minutes to play in regulation, but couldn’t close it out.
The Mules opened the game on a 9-0 run and didn’t allow an Emporia State (9-7, 2-5 MIAA) field goal until the 13:47 mark. UCM pushed the lead to 11 at 15-4 with 12:00 left in the first half. The lead ballooned to 13 on a Dillon Deck tip-in before Terrence Moore drilled a three to pull ESU within 20-10 at the 9:02 mark.
UCM pushed the lead to as many as 16 at 26-10 and 28-12, but a 12-5 spurt by the Hornets cut the lead to 33-24 in the waning seconds of the first half. Rakeem Dickerson hit a three-pointer at the buzzer and the Mules led 36-24 at the intermission.
An 8-4 start to the second half pulled the Hornets back to within single digits at 40-32. A quick 6-0 spurt sent the Mules to a 14-point lead with 16:01 to play in the game, but ESU kept fighting back. The Hornets cut the lead to nine three different times, only to see the Mules go back in front by double digits.
UCM led by 12 with 7:24 to play at 56-44 when ESU started to chip away. The Hornets cut the lead to seven at the 5:46 mark, but Dickerson drilled a three-pointer to put UCM back in front 60-50 with 5:19 left in regulation.
A three from Perryonte Smith cut the UCM lead to seven and Moore’s jumper made it a six-point game at 61-55 with 3:45 to play. Deck scored on a layup and Dickerson made two free throws to give the Mules another 10-point lead with 2:57 on the clock.
Jevon Tayler hit a three to cut the lead to seven and following one of two free throws by Brennen Hughes, Terrence Sardin scored to make it a six point game with 2:18 left. Moore scored on a layup with 1:11 to play to cut the lead to four. Dickerson was fouled and made both free throws to give UCM a six-point lead with :46 to play. Taylor knocked down another three with :23 to play. Following a timeout, the Mules turned it over on the inbounds pass giving ESU a shot.
The Hornets missed their first two three-point attempts, but got offensive rebounds on each miss. Smith found Taylor alone in the corner and he buried the three with :03 left to force overtime.
ESU scored the first five points of overtime and built a seven-point lead with 2:28 to play. The Mules battled back and cut the lead to one at 79-78 with :29 left. On the ensuing inbounds pass, Moore broke free and was fouled as he made a layup at the other end. The Mules were called for an intentional foul giving ESU one free throw and the ball. They made all three free throws and took the six-point win.
The Mules shot 55 percent from the field, 27-of-49, and 45 percent from three-point range, 5-of-11. UCM was 19-of-28 at the foul line for 68 percent.
Dickerson led four Mules in double figures with 22 points. He dished out five assists, but did have six turnovers. Deck had 14 points off the bench, while Hughes had 12 and Preston Brunz finished with 10. TJ White had eight points and 10 rebounds.
The Hornets were led by Moore’s 38 points, while Taylor chipped in 20. ESU was 28-of-48 from the field for 58 percent and 9-of-16 from beyond the arc for 56 percent. The Hornets made 19-of-30 at the free throw line for 63 percent.
The Mules turned the ball over 18 times, which led to 24 ESU points. UCM did out-rebound ESU 32-19 and out-scored the Hornets 42-36 in the paint.
UCM is back in action Wednesday night in St. Joseph against Missouri Western. Tip-off at the MWSU Fieldhouse is set for 7:30 p.m. The game can be heard live on 1450 KOKO, 98.5 The Bar and with Greg Hassler on the call.