Dickerson hits game-winning shot in final seconds to lift No. 25 Mules over Missouri Southern

Written by Muleskinner Staff

(WARRENSBURG, Mo.) — For the fourth consecutive season, the No. 25 Mules basketball team reached the 19-win mark following a dramatic, 71-69 win over visiting Missouri Southern on Saturday at the Multipurpose Building. Rakeem Dickerson‘s go-ahead jumper just in front of the free throw line with five seconds left gave the Mules their fourth-straight win over the Lions in the all-time series.The Mules (19-4, 10-4 MIAA) were led by senior T.J. White’s 19 points, with fellow seniors Brennen Hughes and Preston Brunz adding 15 and 12 points, respectively.
The game saw 11 lead changes and six ties. The Mules fell behind early, 9-5, but went on an 8-5 run to take a 13-10 lead courtesy of back-to-back treys from Brad Woodson and Jordan Epps.
The Lions went back on top, 14-13 at the 13:45 mark, but the Mules responded with seven straight points to take a 20-14 lead. The scoring run was capped off by Epps’ second three-pointer.
Missouri Southern’s 15-5 run over the next 4:40 gave them a 29-25 lead with just over 6:04 left in the first half.
Trailing 34-27 with just over three minutes left, Dillon Deck and Dickerson closed the gap to 34-30 to keep the game close going into halftime.
The Mules tied the game at 35-35 following a three-pointer by Preston Brunz at the 18:16 mark of the second half. They took a five-point lead just 55 seconds later after another trey from Brunz and a layup by Hughes.
After Missouri Southern closed to within 44-43, Deck’s three-point play bumped the lead back to four points with just over 15 minutes to play.
The Lions made three straight free throws to take a 49-48 lead with 11;55 to go in the game. They built their lead to seven at the 9:34 mark, but the Mules worked their way back over the next 3:14 to take a 59-58 lead. Hughes and Brunz combined for the last seven points of that stretch to give UCM its first lead since the 13:24 mark of the second half.
With 1:18 to go and trailing, 67-64, Missouri Southern made three free throw tosses and to tie the game at 67-67.
On the ensuing possession, Hughes drew a foul and made both of his free throws to put the Mules ahead, 69-67 with 14 seconds on the clock.
The Lions came back to tie the game on a layup by Randy Clark with nine seconds to play.
Dickerson took the inbounds pass and drove the length of the court and spotted up at the free throw line, knocking down the go-ahead shot with five seconds to go,
Missouri Southern’s last three-point opportunity came up short as the Mules ran their win streak to three games.
Central Missouri shot 53.2% (25-of-47) from the floor, including 60.9% (14-of-23) in the second half. The Mules outscored Missouri Southern, 30-16 in the paint and scored 13 points off turnovers.
The Mules are back in action next Wednesday night when they travel to Jefferson City, Missouri to take on Lincoln at 7:30 p.m. The game can be heard live on 1450 KOKO, 98.5 The Bar and warrensburgradio.com with Greg Hassler on the call.