Men’s basketball falls in a heartbreaker

Rayko+Dundalov+holds+his+head+in+disbelief+following+the+men%27s+basketball+team%27s+59-58+loss+to+UCM.+%0A%3Cbr%3E%0APhoto+by+Carly+Fristoe
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Men’s basketball falls in a heartbreaker

Rayko Dundalov holds his head in disbelief following the men's basketball team's 59-58 loss to UCM. 

Photo by Carly Fristoe

Rayko Dundalov holds his head in disbelief following the men's basketball team's 59-58 loss to UCM.
Photo by Carly Fristoe

Rayko Dundalov holds his head in disbelief following the men's basketball team's 59-58 loss to UCM.
Photo by Carly Fristoe

Rayko Dundalov holds his head in disbelief following the men's basketball team's 59-58 loss to UCM.
Photo by Carly Fristoe

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Phil Scherer | Legacy Managing Editor
Feb. 24, 2016; 11:00 p.m.

The men’s basketball team lost its sixth consecutive game, this time in stunning fashion, blowing a seven point lead with less than three minutes to play and falling 59-58 to the University of Central Missouri Mules.

Rayko Dundalov holds his head in disbelief following the men's basketball team's 59-58 loss to UCM.  Photo by Carly Fristoe

Rayko Dundalov holds his head in disbelief following the men’s basketball team’s 59-58 loss to UCM.
Photo by Carly Fristoe

“Down the stretch, basically everything that could go wrong, did go wrong,” head coach Lance Randall said.

During the final three minutes, the Lions sent UCM to the free throw line on four separate occasions and turned the ball over twice, once on a 10-second violation with just over one minute to play.

More importantly, the Lions did not score a single point during those final three minutes, including a last second jump shot from Brad Newman that could have given LU the win. The team also missed the front end of one-and-one free throw attempts on two occasions down the stretch.

“We just imploded,” Randall said.

Cory Arentsen once again had a big night in a losing effort, scoring a game-high 35 points, including four three-pointers. He also picked up seven rebounds.

Randall said that one of the key issues for the Lions down the stretch was that Arentsen didn’t touch the ball toward the end of the game.

“At that stage, Cory is supposed to get the ball basically every single time,” Randall said. “Instead, we kind of just lost our mind.”

He explained that the coaching staff was calling for Arentsen to get the ball on each possession, but that the team failed to get it into his hands, including during the final moments.

Arentsen said that he felt like he had a good feel for his shot, and that he felt like he was rolling and that he was disappointed his team couldn’t hold onto the momentum.

“We just didn’t finish,” Arentsen said. “We just couldn’t take advantage of that opportunity.”

With the loss, Lindenwood is now 0-6 in the month of February, including three losses where they had an opportunity to win on the final possession.

The team will conclude the regular season portion of its schedule on the road Saturday against Lincoln University at 3:30 p.m.

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