Mules basketball on five-game win streak

PHOTO+BY+MARIE+NABORS+%2F+PHOTO+EDITOR%0AMarquiez+Lawrence+scores+his+third+double-double+of+the+season+against+the+Washburn+Ichabods%2C+racking+up+21+points+and+10+rebounds.+

PHOTO BY MARIE NABORS / PHOTO EDITOR Marquiez Lawrence scores his third double-double of the season against the Washburn Ichabods, racking up 21 points and 10 rebounds.

Written by Muleskinner Staff

By ALLYSON COOK
Sports Reporter
(WARRENSBURG, Mo., digitalBURG) — Mules basketball came out strong Saturday, Jan. 28, against the Washburn Ichabods.

PHOTO BY KHALID SHERRIF / PHOTOGRAPHER
Marquiez Lawrence scores his third double-double of the season against the Washburn Ichabods, racking up 21 points and 10 rebounds.

Normally a second-half team, the Mules showed a different side by taking a 17-2 lead in the first five minutes of play.
“We had a long week of preparation for the game and everyone was really locked in,” senior Marquiez Lawrence said.
The Ichabods began to fight back when they scored 13 straight points and cut the lead down to a single point with less than six minutes left in the first half. DJ Richardson sank a three to push UCM farther ahead, but a layup and three-pointer by Washburn allowed them to take their only lead of the game, 33-32, with 1:11 remaining in the first half. Matt Wilkinson hit an open three for the Mules to regain the lead, 35-33, going into half time.
Coming out of halftime, Washburn scored first. UCM answered with a Lawrence layup and a three by Spencer Reaves making it 40-34.
“(Coaches) make a lot of adjustments at halftime and I feel like we’re more comfortable in the second half because we kind of get a feel to how the games getting played,” Lawrence said.
The Ichabods came within one, but Clarence Smith and Kyle Wolf responded with back-to-back threes, the Mules then led 48-41 with 14:37 left in the game. From there the closest Washburn came was within five points. The final score was 87-71.
“Once we got on top of our defense, I (felt) that our energy definitely (changed),” Lawrence said.
Lawrence tied his career-high with 21 points, four of those coming from crowd-pleasing dunks. Fifteen of those 21 points were scored in the second half. He also finished with 10 rebounds, completing his third double-double of the season.
Overall the Mules shot 47 percent for the game and 37 percent beyond the arc. They turned the ball over just seven times. UCM was 22-of-26 at the free-throw line and out rebounded Washburn 32-28.
With 3,200 fans in attendance, Lawrence said the crowd played a big role.
“It was nice to see a lot of people at the game and we’d like to keep that energy for the remainder of our home games,” Lawrence said. “So, we’re challenging a lot of our fans to make it to those games because it plays a big role I feel like in our energy.”
The Mules are now 8-3 in the conference, putting them in second place. They travel to Oklahoma for their next two games in hopes to improve on their five-game win streak. After Oklahoma, they head to Pittsburg State next Thursday before they play Missouri Southern at home Saturday, Feb. 11.
“Something we want to do for the next three game is we want to have a good start,” Lawrence said. “We’re more a second-half team, but if we can do that for 40 minutes, then I don’t think there are a lot teams that can beat us.”