The Central Missouri men’s basketball team is back in the NCAA Division II national semifinal for the third time in the Kim Anderson era following a 98-88 win over Southern Connecticut State on Wednesday in Evansville, Ind.
The Mules put together an 8-0 run late in the second half to pull away, sparked by a Charles Hammork drive. Hammork and Daylen Robinson then went a combined 10 for 10 from the free throw line to put the game away.
Dillon Deck finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds, helping give UCM a 38-30 edge in the paint. Robinson scored a career-high 28 points hitting 7 of 13 shots from the field. Hammork had 18 points and Jon Gilliam and TJ White each scored 11.
UCM jumped into an early lead with a 9-2 run to open the game before SCSU chipped away at it, eventually taking the lead late in the first half. The Owls led by as many as six before a 15-0 Mules run which included three consecutive 3-pointers to give UCM a 43-34 lead.
SCSU got within one point with 15:55 left in the game but the Mules pulled away with baskets by Deck and Robinson and a Jordan Epps steal and layup.
The lead grew to nine before a late SCSU rally, but the Owls could get no closer.
Central Missouri will play Metro State in the national semifinal at 6 p.m. today. Metro State beat Tuskegee 106-88 on Wednesday.