JOPLIN, Mo. — The University of Central Oklahoma men's basketball team couldn't keep up the pace with Missouri Southern Thursday night and saw its three-game win streak snapped in a 95-59 loss.
UCO is now 6-9 overall and 3-3 in Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association play.
A quartet of Bronchos managed to score in double figures, with Dashawn McDowell's 12 points leading the way. Jayln Turner scored 11 off the bench and Camryn Givens and Justin Nimmer both scored 10. But a big performance from behind the arc doomed the Bronchos. MSSU made 17 threes on the night.
"It's hard to beat a team that shoots the ball that well," UCO head coach Bob Hoffman said. "We competed hard, but sometimes you run into a team that is feeling it and that happened tonight. We'll put this one behind us and move on and get ready for Pittsburg on Saturday."
UCO held an early lead on a few occasions. Givens scored the first basket of the game to put UCO up 2-0. The Bronchos then found a 6-5 lead after Dashon Bell scored his second layup of the game. And a Nimmer layup with 13 minutes to play gave the Bronchos a 14-13.
But a 12-0 run for Missouri Southern followed Nimmer's layup and UCO suddenly faced an 11-point deficit at the under-10 media timeout.
Central trailed by as much as 22 in the first half, which is how the teams went to the locker room at the break. UCO hit 10 of 29 first-half shots, and none of them were from outside. Meanwhile, MSSU hit eight 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes to build a 45-23 lead.
Central Oklahoma went back-and-forth with Missouri Southern through the first five minutes of the second half, but the deficit couldn't be cut. MSSU then went on a run and led by its biggest margin, 34, with 13 minutes to play. Southern's basket with 20 seconds left in the game topped that and made it 95-59. The 36-point loss is the biggest margin of defeat this season for the Bronchos.
Central Oklahoma shot 37.7% from the field Thursday night, making 23 of 61 shots. UCO hit just 3 of 15 3-pointers for the night, with all of those makes coming in the second half. The Bronchos were also 10-for-17 from the free-throw line.
Bell and Carson Calavan each scored six points to chip in and Seth Hurd and D.J. Basey added two points apiece.
Central Oklahoma will finish off a short, two-game road trip Saturday when the Bronchos take on Pittsburg State. Tipoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.