Kim Anderson’s Mules are in the national title game.
The Central Missouri men’s basketball team beat No. 1 Metro State 71-69 on Thursday in Evansville, Ind. to reach the national title game for the second time in program history, 30 years to the day after winning the 1984 national championship.
TJ White hit a layup with one second left to put the Mules ahead. Metro State’s buzzer-beater did not fall.
Charles Hammork led the Mules with a double-double, 14 points and 10 rebounds. Daylen Robinson scored 13 points and assisted on White’s game-winner. Dillon Deck scored 12 points and pulled down five rebounds. White finished with 11 points.
UCM shot 47 percent from the field including six 3-pointers while Metro State hit just 32 percent from the floor.
UCM led most of the way, gradually building a 42-34 halftime edge. In the second half the Roadrunners began to chip away at the lead, eventually tying the game at 62-62 with just over three minutes left.
Central Missouri will play in the championship game at 2 p.m. Saturday against the winner of the other semifinal between West Liberty (W.Va.) and South Carolina-Aiken.