Nebraska-Omaha held a 17 point first half lead over Central Missouri, the third ranked team in the country and still led by nine with 10 minutes to play, but Central Missouri tied the game up just a minute and a half later and go on to the beat the Mavericks 89-84. The Mavs came into this game ranked 6th in the regional standings. The top eight teams advance to the D-II national tournament.
The Mavericks (17-7, 10-7 MIAA) jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the first 2:17 but the Mules (23-1, 16-1 MIAA) cut it back to five on an Alex Moosmann three-pointer a few minutes later. UNO held a 27-22 advantage with 8:58 to play before going on an 8-0 run over the next few minutes, aided by a technical foul on Mules head coach Kim Anderson, who voiced his concern with the officiating. After a few quick points from the Mules the Mavs rallied for an 8-2 spurt to make it 43-26 with 2:27 left in the half. UNO hit 48.6 percent in the first half while holding UCM to only 36.4 percent. The Mavericks also out-rebounded the Mules 23-17 at that point, including a 15-0 advantage in second-chance points. UNO’s Eugene Bain led all scorers with 12, while Tyler Bullock chipped in with 10 in the period. Moosmann had nine for the Mules.
Central Missouri stormed back to start second, scoring the first eight points and cutting the lead to only three on a Bryce Brunz three-pointer with 17:16 on the clock. Nebraska-Omaha had an answer with back-to-back buckets from Bullock and a three from Andrew Bridger to get it back to 10 by the 15:39 mark.
A little more than two minutes later a Harris three would cut it back down to four, but the Mavericks would answer again with consecutive buckets. A spark off the bench from sophomore forward Dusty Allen got the Mules going again though as he hit back-to-back layups, followed by a Tremaine Luellen layup to get it down to only two. UNO head coach Derrin Hansen then voiced his concern with the officials, getting a technical foul called on him. UCM would hit both charities to tie it at 63 with 8:35 left.
Central Missouri didn’t get its first lead until the 5:49 mark on a couple Watts free throws, in the midst of an 8-0 run to make it 74-69 with 4:12 remaining. UCM stayed up by two possessions thanks to some key jumpers from Moosmann, and got its lead to as many as eight with 35 seconds left before the Mavericks made another mini-run. Bullock cut it to three with 25 seconds left on an old-fashioned three-point play followed by a turnover, but the Mules got a stop and Moosmann hit both free throws to ice it.