The No. 15 Central Missouri mens basketball team fell to Northeastern State 84-82 in the MIAA quarterfinal on Friday in Kansas City, rallying back from a 15-point second-half deficit but ultimately falling short.
The Mules had a chance to win the game at the buzzer, but Daylen Robinson could not connect on a shot from close to mid-court.
UCM trailed 61-46 with 8:06 to play in the game before Preston Brunz scored eight points in a row. After another Northeastern State run, Robinson hit a 3-pointer to make it 70-64 with 4:19 left, but Northeastern State extended the lead to double digits again before a 16-8 UCM run over the final 3:21.
UCM led 16-13 midway through a first half in which both teams struggled offensively. Northeastern State reclaimed the lead with a 4-0 run before the Mules answered, leading 25-24 with 2:00 left in the half. The RiverHawks took the lead again at the end of the half and the Mules never led again.
Brunz, Robinson and Dillon Deck each scored 17 points for the Mules. Charles Hammork added 10 points and 10 rebounds.
UCM must wait on the selection committee to see if it makes the NCAA Division II tournament.