The Mules concluded a three-game road stretch with a close 88-84 overtime loss to Lincoln on Saturday, Jan. 11. Sophomore Gaven Pinkley scored a career-high of 23 points to lead the Mules offense against the Blue Tigers.

It was a slow offensive start for both teams as the Mules and Blue Tigers were tied 4-4 after almost a full four minutes of play.

Lincoln gained their first lead of the game with a quick 7-0 run which gave the Blue Tigers a 11-4 advantage at the 14:09 mark in the first half.

Central Missouri outscored Lincoln in the final five minutes of the first half to come within five points at the half, down 32-37.

With 13:38 to go the second half, a three by Pinkley gave the Mules their first lead of the game at 44-43.

The Mules and Blue Tigers went back and forth for the remaining 13 minutes of the second half, trading field goal for field goal.

With under a minute to play, Michael Winger and Pinkley showed up big for the Mules, answering each Blue Tiger lead with a three.

Central Missouri and Lincoln ended regulation play tied 74-74 to send the game into overtime.

The Mules and Blue Tigers went point-for-point in overtime.

With 1:12 left to play in overtime, the Mules and Blue Tigers were tied 84-84. A Lincoln layup by Cameron Potts with 40 second left on the clock gave the Blue Tigers a two point advantage.

Twenty seconds ran off the clock as a missed UCM three was followed by two missed Lincoln free throws.

The Mules were forced to foul in the final 10 seconds, sending Jonell Burton to the line. Burton made each attempt with no time left for the Mules to overcome the four-point deficit.

Lincoln scored the final points of the game to defeat the Mules 88-84.

Central Missouri recorded one of their top-five shooting performances of the season against the Blue Tigers. The Mules hit 28-54 from the field for 51.9%, 14-33 from the three-point range for 42.4% and 14-17 from the foul line for 82.4%.

Lincoln went 30-66 for 45.5% from inside the arc, 10-33 from outside the arc for 30.3% and finished 18-28 from the free throw line for 64.3%.

The Blue Tigers dominated UCM on the boards. Lincoln out-rebounded the Mules 39-28 with 17 of the Blue Tigers rebounds being offensive boards. The Mules finished with just four offensive rebounds.

Turnovers also hurt the Mules offensive chances. Lincoln scored 17 of their 88 points off UCM’s 16 turnovers.

Pinkley made a season-high of 10 field goals on 13 attempts while also hitting a season-high of three three’s to record a new career-high of 23 points.

Kendale Hampton went 5-9 from inside the arc and knocked down four three’s to finish with 21 points.

Michael Winger also hit four three’s to end the game with 12 points.

Matt Wilkinson lead the UCM defense with six rebounds.

Mules Basketball (6-8, 1-4 MIAA) returns to the Multipurpose Building this week for the first time in the new year. Central Missouri is set to host Pittsburg State at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 15.

Sports Editor Randy Speer can be reached by emailing randy.speer@dsjnow.com, by calling (660) 747-8123 or on Twitter at @RandySpeer_DSJ.

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