By THE HERALD-WHIG STAFF
The Culver-Stockton College men's basketball team needs to reverse the trend.
After winning its first five Heart of America Athletic Conference games to start the season, the Wildcats have dropped three straight, failing to finish off a furious rally Thursday night in an 89-85 overtime loss to Central Methodist University at Puckett Fieldhouse in Fayette, Mo.
C-SC (14-6, 5-3 HAAC) has fallen from a tie for first to a tie for third in the league standings in just one week. This was also the ninth straight time the Wildcats lost to the Eagles on the road.
Central Methodist built a 19-point lead at halftime by scoring 48 points in the first half -- that's the most points C-SC has allowed in half all season. The lead ballooned to 23 points a little less than seven minutes into the second half before C-SC started a comeback.
The Wildcats whittled the deficit to just one over an 11-minute stretch, pulling within 74-73 on Austin Keaton's 3-pointer with 1:41 remaining. After the Eagles missed a pair of shots, the Wildcats' James Johnson split a pair of free throws with 52 seconds remaining to tie the game at 74.
Central Methodist missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer for the win, sending the game to overtime. C-SC took its first lead of the game when James Johnson buried a 3-pointer to open the extra period.
After the teams traded baskets, the Eagles went on a 9-0 run to take control.
Johnson led C-SC with a career-high 29 points, making a school-record eight 3-pointers. Marshawn Norris added 24 points and eight assists, while Keaton had 15 points.
Central Methodist 86, Culver-Stockton 73: The Eagles scored 56 points in the second half to erase a four-point deficit and roll to the Heart of America Athletic Conference victory in Fayette, Mo.
A 33-10 run by Central Methodist changed the complexion of the game.
Mimi Reaves led the Wildcats with 20 points, while Daja DeHayward scored a career-high 17 points. Shelsey Stanley added 13 points.
Hannibal-LaGrange 62, Williams Baptist 60: The Lady Trojans ended their three-game losing streak with the overtime victory in American Midwest Conference play.
Ashleigh Spencer led HLGU (10-7, 3-3 AMC) with 22 points and 15 rebounds, while Maddy Cunningham had 15 points, hitting 5 of 7 3-pointers.
Macon Tournament: Andre McClure scored with 10 seconds remaining in overtime to give second-seeded South Shelby a 58-56 victory over third-seeded Centralia and a berth in the championship game.
The Cardinals (13-3) will meet top-seeded Moberly, the No. 8 ranked team in Class 4, in the finals at 8 p.m. Saturday.
Wyatt Proper finished with a game-high 19 points for South Shelby, while McClure had 14 points.
North Shelby Tournament: Fourth-seeded Scotland County defeated eighth-seeded Palmyra JV 60-29 in the consolation bracket. Lucas Howard led Scotland County with 22 points, while Jacob Blessing added 14 points.
Tony Lenzini Tournament: Bowling Green beat Palmyra 59-37 to earn a berth in the title game. The Bobcats led 11-9 after the first quarter and outscored the Panthers 13-4 in the second quarter to build a 24-13 halftime lead.
Megan Hooper paced the Lady Panthers with 13 points and Evie Miles added nine points on three 3-pointers.
In the consolation bracket, Highland limited Canton to single digits in each quarter to earn a 35-24 victory. Highland's Casey Hinkle led all scorers with 13 points. Allison Phillips led Canton with eight points.
North Shelby Tournament: Kaelyn Spratt scored 27 points to lead top-seeded Marion County to a 57-29 victory over North Shelby in the semifinals. Marion County (10-4) was in control from the opening tip, racing to a 28-11 halftime lead.
Mercedes Nute led the Lady Raiders (7-8) with her seven points.
Pittsfield 51, Griggsville-Perry 20: Shea O'Brien finished with 21 points to lead Pittsfield to the victory at home.
The Lady Saukees (13-10) outscored the Lady Tornadoes 20-4 in the second quarter to take control.
Mikayla Smith led Griggsville-Perry (2-18) with nine points.
Western 70, Brussels 48: Rachel Motley scored a game-high 19 points to lead the Lady Wildcats to a road victory.
Western (8-11) went ahead early, building an 18-10 by the end of the first quarter.
Loren Melton added 17 points and Amber Platt finished with 11 for the Lady Wildcats.
Sherrard 35, Illini West 26: The Chargers struggled offensively, making only six field goals in a road loss to the Tigers. Michaela Gronewold led the Chargers (12-10, 5-2 West Central Conference) with seven points.