LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Senior guard Michael Hicks scored 29 points Friday night to lift 14th-ranked Central Missouri State to a 75-67 victory over Eastern New Mexico University in the first game of the NCAA Division II High Desert Classic at the McDermott Physical Education Center on the campus of UNLV.
Hicks led a strong 3-point showing by the Mules (9-1), who finished 9-of-18 from long range.
Junior guard Wadale Williams added 10 points for Central Missouri. Junior guard Tristan Largent led the Hounds (4-5) with 18 points, while Mikal Monette and Josh Jackson added 10 apiece.
“It was a game of streaks,” ENMU men’s coach Shawn Scanlan said. “We had opportunities, but we just didn’t close out people when we had the chance.”
The Mules built early leads of 13-4, 18-8 and 21-10 before the Hounds went on a run and opened a 33-29 lead with five minutes left in the half.
Central Missouri, though, finished the half on a 14-2 surge and led 43-35 at the break.
The Hounds responded with a 13-4 run at the beginning of the second half and inched in front 48-47 on a basket by Largent with 14:54 to go. The Mules then went on an 11-0 run, helped by four ENMU turnovers, and opened a 10-point margin.
Down 61-50 with 6 1/2 minutes left, the Hounds got as close as 68-65 after Ira Cross’ steal led to a fast-break layup by Largent with 1:55 to go. But the Hounds couldn’t get any closer.
The Hounds return to action with a 7:45 p.m. (MST) tipoff today against Drury.