The Free Press, Mankato, MN


March 15, 2013

Central Missouri: These Mules like to run

WARRENSBURG, MO. — Central Missouri is a program that’s used to getting into the NCAA Division II men’s basketball tournament, having made that trip 20 times in program history.

But last year, the Mules missed the tournament, motivating the current roster to get back to the final 64.

“We just need to leave it all on the floor,” senior forward Dominique Long said. “The next loss, you’re done.”

Fourth-seeded Central Missouri (22-7) faces Harding (21-9) in the final quarterfinal Saturday, scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. at Bresnan Arena. The Mules got a little momentum by winning the MId-America Athletic Association tournament in overtime against Northwest Missouri on Sunday.

“The last three years, we’ve lost in the first round of the conference tournament,” coach Kim Anderson said. “I think we’ve gotten better as we’ve become more balanced, and the players have done a better job of accepting their roles.”

Long is the only player on the Central Missouri roster to play in all 29 games. The 6-foot-6 senior forward averages 15.1 points and 4.7 rebounds per game, and he’s shooting 40.3 percent on 3-pointers.

“He’s got great range on his 3-point shot, but he can also go inside,” coach Kim Anderson said. “He’s not a big, strong guy, but he’s a tough matchup.”

Senior point guard Widgett Washington is averaging 12.1 points and 5.1 assists, and 6-6 junior forward Charles Hammork is averaging 11.9 points and 5.2 rebounds.

“We have a lot of people who can get up and down the floor,” Long said. “We like a fast-paced game, but we also need to focus on defense.”

The Mules, who were 13-0 at home this season but 9-7 on the road or at neutral courts, average 78.2 points but allow 70.0 points, most in the tournament.

“We pride ourselves on being a good defensive team, but this team has played sporadic defense,” Anderson said. “I think we have to play better defensively for us to be successful.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Latest auto racing news
Featured Ads
Live Moondogs coverage
Shane Frederick's Twitter updates
Chad Courrier's Sports Report
Latest NCAA basketball news
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
NDN Video
Price on dealing with trade rumors Arian Foster Answers Questions With Same Boring Answer - @TheBuzzeronFox Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Cardinals make Peterson highest paid CB Tiger Woods: 1 on 1 Stephen A. Smith -- I Accept ESPN Suspension ... 'It Was My Mistake' Oakland Raiders To Become San Antonio Raiders? - @TheBuzzeronFox Byron Scott: 'This is still a Lakers town' Jack White throws first pitch for hometown Tigers LeSean McCoy explains how Chip Kelly has helped his productivity Chicago Cubs win longest game in team history Will Browns have enough without Gordon? Anderson Silva To Return To UFC, Face Nick Diaz - @TheBuzzeronFox Bills Legend on Bon Jovi's Bid: "F-ck Bon Jovi" - @TheBuzzeronFOX Settlement sets new standards for NCAA Possible MLB trades before deadline 3 Questions with Gary Payton: Kevin Love, Andrew Wiggins and Derrick Rose Players Only: Marcus Mariota's Course Load at Oregon How We Almost Got Johnny Cowboy Donald Sterling Loses The Clippers For Good - @TheBuzzeronFox