Central Missouri outscored Wayne State 42-31 in the second half to overcome 60 percent shooting by the Wildcats in the first half, giving the Mules a 73-67 victory Saturday evening at the Central Region Men’s Basketball Tip Off Classic in Warrensburg, Missouri. The host Mules are now 2-0 on the year with WSC at 1-1.
The Wildcats used 60 percent shooting in the first half to take the lead on the host Mules.
Down 6-5 early, WSC went on an 11-0 run over a span of 3:25 and took a 23-8 lead on a pair of Nick Ferrarini free throws at the 12:27 mark.
Central Missouri cut the Wildcat lead to 25-16, but WSC scored eight of the next 10 points and took another 15-point lead at 33-18 on a Ferrarini jumper with 5:01 to play before halftime.
The Mules closed the first half on a 13-3 run, reducing Wayne State’s lead to 36-31 at intermission.
WSC got off to a strong start in the second half, taking a 43-32 lead on a Kendall Jacks jumper with 17:05 to play.
Central Missouri followed with a 15-2 run over the next six minutes and turned an 11-point deficit into a 47-45 lead.
The two teams traded several leads with Wayne State taking their final lead at 52-51 on a Tony Bonner free throw with 7:51 to play.
The Mules took the lead for good scoring the next five points for a 56-52 advantage.
UCM pushed the advantage to six at 62-56, but WSC used a pair of Vance Janssen free throws and a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to one at 62-61 with 4:04 left.
Central Missouri then held WSC to just one field goal over the next 3:30 and took a 69-63 lead and the Mules went on to finish with a 73-67 win.
Trevin Joseph led WSC in scoring with a game-high 20 points on 7 of 12 shooting. Kendall Jacks contributed 17 points on 7 of 13 shooting with senior guard Vance Janssen also hitting double figures with 10.
Wayne State ended the game making 24 of 52 from the field for 46.2 percent after starting the game going 14 of 23 (60.9%) in the first half. The Wildcats made 7 of 24 behind the arc and 12 for 16 (75%) at the free throw line.
Blake Spellman and Jafar Kinsey scored 16 points each to lead Central Missouri with Jakob Lawrence scoring 12.
The Mules shot 49 percent from the field, making 25 of 51 shots. UCM was 9 of 21 from the 3-point line and 14-15 at the charity stripe.
Central Missouri held a 28-26 advantage in rebounds over WSC with Vance Janssen grabbing seven boards to lead the Wildcats. Janssen also had five of Wayne State’s 12 assists.
Wayne State will play their home opener on Tuesday at 7 p.m. hosting Waldorf University from Iowa.