UCM Mules And Jennies Prepare For Saturday Basketball Games
The 18th-ranked Central Missouri Mules continue their MIAA Tournament run on Saturday, March 7 at 2:15 p.m. as they meet Missouri Southern in the tournament semifinals.
The Mules are 24-5 overall after holding off Central Oklahoma 67-66 in the MIAA Tournament quarterfinals on Thursday night.
Missouri Southern comes in at 19-10 overall and the No. 3 seed in the tournament. The Lions beat Nebraska-Kearney 97-88 on Thursday night to advance to the semifinals.
UCM's win over Southwest Baptist on Feb. 5 gave the Mules their 18th win of the season. It marked the 12th straight season of at least 18 wins for UCM and set a new MIAA record. The old streak of 11 straight seasons of 18 or more wins was held by Northwest Missouri (1997-2008).
The Mules were 30-5 a season ago when they captured the NCAA-II National Championship. It was the third 30-win season in program history, the seventh 20-win season in the last 12 years and the 23rd in school history.
Central Missouri finished 16-3 in MIAA play last year and captured a share of the MIAA regular season championship for the third straight season. It was the sixth conference crown in the last 12 years and 24th in school history. The fifth-seeded Jennies (21-8) will match up with No. 1 seeded Fort Hays State (27-2) in the MIAA Tournament semifinals on Saturday, March 7 at the Municipal Auditorium for a 6 p.m. tip-off. The Tigers knocked off eighth-seeded Northeastern State, 79-53 in Friday's quarterfinal round.
During the regular season, Fort Hays State won a narrow 76-75 overtime decision in Hays, Kansas back on December 4.
Fort Hays State's senior center Kate Lehman scored a team-high 24 points in 23 minutes in the Tigers' quarterfinal round win over the RiverHawks. Junior guard Chelsea Mason added 23 points and five rebounds.
The Jennies are 3-0 all-time against Fort Hays State in the postseason. Last season, UCM knocked the Tigers out of the conference tournament in the semifinal round, 71-69.
The Jennies have eliminated Fort Hays State from the MIAA Tournament in each of the past three seasons.
The fifth-seeded Jennies gave head coach Dave Slifer his 600th career win, knocking off fourth-seeded Missouri Southern, 70-64 at the Municipal Auditorium, advancing to the MIAA tournament semifinals for the fourth straight season.