Central Missouri raced out to an early lead over the visiting Washburn Ichabods with long-range sharp-shooting.
The Mules’ offensive stamina wavered in the second half, and Washburn snuck back into the game and were in front 58-56 by the final horn.
It’s the second loss in three games for UCM.
After opening the game 6-of-11 from beyond the arc, UCM settled at a 24-14 lead. Central Missouri’s largest lead was 43-30 minutes into the second half.
The Ichabods, led by Randall Smith’s 16-points, made a slow climb back. It took 10 minutes for UCM’s lead to dissolve. A Brady Skeens putback dunk brought Washburn within two with 6:24 to play.
Skeens finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Andy Wilson added 10 points.
Smith tied the game at 49 with a drive and layup. Washburn earned their first lead of the night with less than three minutes to play.
Washburn compiled a 20-4 run down the stretch, punctuated by a Wilson 3-pointer to put the Ichabods up 54-51.
Brad Woodson brought UCM within two points by going 1 for 2 at the charity stripe in the final seconds. On the miss, Spencer Reaves and Marquiez Lawrence failed to land the tip-in for the tie.
Reaves led Central Missouri with 18 points. Kyle Wolf, who left the game with an injury in the second half, scored 15 points on 3 of 7 shooting beyond the arc.
Central Missouri (12-7, 6-7 MIAA) hosts Emporia State at 3:30 p.m. Saturday.
Alex Agueros can be reached at 660-826-1000, ext. 1483 or on Twitter @abagueros2