Mules and Jennies basketball completed their regular-season campaigns, with the latter preparing for the MIAA Tournament with a pair of road wins.
In the second to last game of the regular season on Wednesday, the Jennies absolutely dominated Missouri Southern 74-39, while the Mules put up a strong fight in Joplin.
The Jens had an outstanding night offensively, shooting 46.4% from the floor and 55% from beyond the arc. Central Missouri forced 24 turnovers and only allowed six points by the Lions in both the second and third quarter.
By the half, the Jennies led 35-16 and continued to cruise through the third and fourth quarter.
Seniors Megan Skaggs and Morgan Fleming led the team offensively. Skaggs came away with 13 points, going 5-6 from the field and 100% from three. Fleming scored 12 and added eight assists.
The Mules came out on the bottom side of the score against the Lions, 99-68. The offense of Missouri Southern took control of the court and was too strong for Central Missouri’s defense.
Four different players from Missouri Southern scored in double digits as the Mules gave up a season-high 99 points.
By the end of the first half, the Lions already had a 19 point lead over Central Missouri, making it difficult for them to come back in the second half.
In the second half, Missouri Southern outscored UCM 50-38.
The Lions shot an exceptional 50% from the field and 38.5% from three, while the Mules shot 38.1% from the field and 29% from three.
Seniors Kendale Hampton and Matt Wilkinson led the team offensively. Hampton went 5-for-8 with three 3-pointers to finish with 14 points. Wilkinson added nine points.
Saturday, Central Missouri’s men’s and women’s basketball teams faced their final opponent of the regular season in Pittsburg, Kansas.
The Jennies defeated Pittsburg State 72-60, while the Mules fell 80-73.
Once again, Skaggs and Fleming led the team on both sides of the ball. Skaggs went 8-for-13 from the field and 4-for-5 from three to finish with 22 points. Fleming followed with 15 points, eight assists and five rebounds.
As the top seed, the Jennies (24-4, 18-1 MIAA) play the winner between No. 8 Washburn and No. 9 Missouri Southern for their first-round game in the MIAA tournament. The first-round game will take place noon March 5 at Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City.
Mules basketball had the opposite outcome from the Jennies, as Pitt State started off hot and held the lead for about 10 minutes. By the five minute mark, the teams were tied 29-29 and remained as such for nearly five minutes. By the half, Pitt State led 32-31.
PSU hit 68.6% from 3-point range in the second half and had five players score in double figures.
Hampton led the team with 22 points going 7-for-12 with four threes and recorded four assists.
With the loss, the Mules end its season 10-18 overall and 5-14 in the MIAA.
TRACK AND FIELD
UCM Track and Field traveled last weekend to Pittsburg, Kansas, where two individuals won their events and both teams finished fifth place in the MIAA Indoor Championships.
Sophomore Trey Miller not only won the heptathlon, but set a new meet record scoring 5,488 points. The previous record, set in 2013, was held by Brent Vogel of the Mules.
Miller also set a new PR in the 60m hurdles, running 8.40 to win the event.
In pole vault, Vincent Hobbie and Jan Jansky ranked first and second. Both cleared 17-3.5, however, Hobbie was given the win based on the number of attempts. Both automatically qualified for nationals.
In two weeks, the team travels to Birmingham, Alabama for the NCAA Indoor Championships.
UCM Softball traveled to Topeka, Kansas to compete in the Washburn Invitational last weekend, where the team went 3-2 wins against Southwest Minnesota State, St. Cloud State and Sioux Falls.
Friday, the offense was outstanding with 13 hits in a 9-6 win against Southwest Minnesota State.
Sophomore Ashlyn Cook went 3-for-3 and led the team with four RBI. Freshman Sydney Wellshear went 2-for-3 with two RBI.
Freshman Paige Petefish gave up nine hits and two walks, but recorded three strikeouts.
The Jennies lost a close one to Rockhurst 3-1 to start Saturday, its first loss of the season, and defeated St. Cloud State 6-4 to close the day.
Senior Lauryn Deer went 2-for-3 with three runs scored and two stolen bases. Sophomore Ashlyn Cook led with a game-high of three RBI. Petefish, on the mound again, recorded her fourth win of the season striking out seven while facing 27 batters.
Central Missouri split another pair of close contests Sunday, outplaying Sioux Falls 6-5 and falling 5-4 to the University of Missouri - St. Louis.
By the second inning against Sioux Falls, the Jennies had a 4-0 lead, but their opponents came back in the top of the third scoring all five of their runs off of six hits and an error by Central Missouri.
UCM junior Bailey Fowler, sophomore Makenzie McAtee and senior Lauryn Deer all had two hits, while Deer and Fowler each scored two runs.
Senior Alexa Bradley earned the win after pitching three scoreless innings.
The Jennies led UMSL 3-0 through six innings but, the Tritons came from behind in what would have been the last frame, scoring three runs to extending the game into extras.
UCM baseball swept Rogers State in three games at home last weekend.
Offense was key in the first game, with the Mules totaling 12 hits in a 7-5 final.
UCM senior Dusty Stroup got the lead for the Mules on a deep home run to center field in the fourth inning.
In the eighth inning, junior Cole Taylor hit a tie-breaking line drive over the wall in right field, pushing the score to its final standing.
UCM deployed four pitchers in Game 1, with redshirt junior Evan Rathburn earning the save after striking out two Hillcats in the ninth.
The Mules registered another dozen hits during an 8-3 win over the Hillcats in the second game.
Six of the team’s eight runs were scored in the first three innings. In the second frame, UCM scored four runs with the aid of redshirt sophomore Gaven Strobel, seniors Josh Schumacher, Erik Webb and Stroup.
Starting pitcher, junior Jordan Fowler, kept the Hillcats hitless after the second inning until the sixth — where they scored two of their three runs.
Webb led the team with a home run and three RBI. Senior Alex Madera picked up his 100th career hit with an RBI and run scored.
In Game 3, UCM figured out Rogers State pitching and dominated them by a score of 14-4.
Stroup went 2-4 with a home run and two RBI. Taylor had his second homer of the weekend with three RBI. Freshman Cole Christman came in clutch with the third home run of the game and two RBI.
Redshirt senior Tyler Kuhlmann earned with win striking out four in three hitless innings.