DUBUQUE, Iowa -- After a lackluster first half, 25th-ranked Mount Mercy shot 58.3 percent from the field and made 20-of-21 free throws in the second period to defeat Clarke, 81-74, in a Midwest Collegiate Conference men's basketball game on Thursday at the Kehl Center.
The Mustangs (16-6, 7-4 MCC) were only 3-of-11 from 3-point range and hit just 3-of-8 free throws in the opening period, which ended in a 28-28 tie. They turned things around after intermission, going 5-of-8 from 3-point range and missing only one foul shot over the final 20 minutes to put away the Crusaders (13-8, 5-6 MCC).
Three Mustangs scored in double digits, led by senior guard David Campbell's 20 points. Senior forward Sam Kenyi was 9-of-10 at the free throw line during a 17-point, eight rebound night. Junior forward Chad Underwood finished with 15 points and five boards. Junior forward Troy Peter added nine points and junior guard Sid Beck four assists off the bench.
Luke Cassedy had 19 points to lead the Crusaders. Mike Schindel chipped in 13 points and seven rebounds, Kris Brooks 10 points and seven boards. Charles Nunn and Craig Christopher tallied eight points apiece.
Another important conference showdown looms this weekend for Mount Mercy. The Mustangs are on the road again at William Penn on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. at Penn Gym in Oskaloosa. Mount Mercy held on to beat the Statesmen, 79-78, on Dec. 7 in Cedar Rapids. The Mustangs, Statesmen (12-11, 7-4 MCC) and Ashford (15-8, 7-4 MCC) are tied for second place in the MCC, two games back of league-leading St. Ambrose (15-8, 9-2 MCC).