Mules Stun No. 1 Northwest

WARRENSBURG, Mo. (Dec. 7, 2019) – In one of the biggest wins in the last six years, Central Missouri (4-5, 1-1 MIAA) upset No. 1 ranked Northwest Missouri 72-60, snapping the Bearcats 46-game winning streak. The Mules used a flurry of three-pointers and scored 47 second-half points to take down the previously undefeated Bearcats.

How it Happened
• The Mules picked a good time for their best shooting performance of the season. UCM shot 47% from the floor and 44% from three while also going 15-20 at the free throw line. 
• The Mules defense stymied the Bearcats, who entered as the top shooting team in the league, connecting on 54% from the field and 46% from three. Theywere held to just 37% from the floor and 24% behind the arc.
• That Mules defense also forced 11 turnovers and turned those in 12 points and scored 17 in transition.
• Neither team could get much going offensively to start the game. Midway through the half the teams traded three-pointers and the Bearcats held a 14-13 lead.
• NWMSU scored four straight to turn that into a five-point lead, 18-13, their largest of the game. 
• The Mules answered by going on an 8-0 run to reclaim the lead, 21-18. Gaven Pinkley and Kendale Hampton splashed back-to-back triples in the run.
• It looked like UCM was poised to take a lead into the half, but Tyler Dougherty beat the buzzer with a three and at the break, it was 26-25 Bearcats.
• Northwest started the second outscoring UCM 12-9 to pull ahead by four, 38-34, following the first media timeout. Coming out of the break is when the Mules got hot. UCM hit five straight field goals, four threes, three by Hampton and one from Garrett Luinstra, and claimed a three-point lead, 50-47.
• The Mules defense held the Bearcats to just five points in a span of 8:55 and extended their lead from three to 10 after another three from Matt Wilkinson with 3:25 left to play.
• Northwest started fouling to extend the game, but the Mules calmly sank 12-14 at the line in the final 2:19 to keep the Bearcats from coming back.

It Was Over When…
• Matt Wilkinson hit a three with 3:25 left to play and the Mules led by 10, 60-50. The Bearcats knew their only chance to get closer was to foul and hope the Mules didn’t make their free throws, but UCM went 12-14 at the line, Garrett Luinstra was 6-6 and UCM walked off with an upset of the No. 1 team in the country.

Mules Stat Leaders
• Kendale Hampton led UCM with 20 points and was 6-9 from three. He also had nine rebounds.
• Gaven Pinkley was 6-11 with 16 poitns and six rebounds.
• Garrett Luinstra scored 11 going 6-6 at the free throw line.
• Matt Wilkinson hit a pair of three’s and scored 11 points.
• DeAndre Sorrells dished out a game-high four assists and chipped in seven points.

For The Bearcats
• Trevor Hudgens scored a game-high 24 points with seven rebounds.
• Diego Bernard added 14 points.
• Tyler Dougherty came off the bench to score nine.
• Ryan Hawkins pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds.

News and Notes
• The last time UCM defeated the No. 1 ranked team was when they beat Metro State in the NCAA Tournament semifinals back in 2014.
• Northwest Missouri had previously won eight straight vs. the Mules. UCM last defeated the Bearcats in the 2014-2015 season.
• The win snaps the Bearcats 46 game winning streak dating back to last season.
• NWMSU has scored 60 points or fewer just three times in the last 46 games.
• Central Missouri’s 47 second-half points are their most in a half against a Division II opponent this season. 
• UCM’s 11 three-pointers match a season-best. 
• Matt Wilkinson surpassed 500 career points.
• Daniel Farris reached 400 career points.
• This is the third 20-point game for Kendale Hampton this season. 

Coach Karleskint:

• On today’s win:
“All the credit goes to our guys for fighting and believing and washing away Thursday night’s disappointment. We feel like we’re a better team than what our record shows and hopefully, the guys will believe in that even more so after today. We beat a great team. A team that hasn’t been beaten in over a year. I’m really proud of our guys for fighting and believing.”
• On what the team did well today:
“We kept them off-balanced offensively. We had some guys step up. Kendale Hampton played great. Matt Wilkinson played great. Gaven Pinkley played great. We were fortunate that [Ryan] Hawkins got into foul trouble early. He picked up his fourth foul with 18 minutes to go in the game. I thought that was huge. A lot of things fell our way and they have to beat a great team like that.”
• On when he felt comfortable that UCM was going to win:
“Honestly, about two minutes to go. Then when they made substitutions with one minute to go it hit me, ‘hey we’re going to get this done’. That joy of being happy for our guys. It’s been a long time coming not only for them, but for everybody. I’m proud of our guys. They bought into the game plan and executed it to pretty much perfection.”
• On what the message was pregame:
“I told the guys we are about 15-18 possessions away from being 8-0 and if we were in that position, today would have been a top-10 matchup. I think when the guys started reminising about those possessions late in games, there were certain turnovers, certain missed shots and certain missed defensive assignments, I think they realized that we’re a lot better than our 3-5 record.”

Up Next
• The Mules are finished with MIAA games until January. They’ll take on Missouri Baptist next Dec. 18 at 12 p.m.