ABILENE, Texas - It might not have been pretty, but Midwestern State got the job done Saturday night at Moody Coliseum.
On a night when All-American Chris Hagan was held to nine points, the Mustangs found a way to hold Abilene Christian to a single point over the final 4:29 to roll to an 82-73 win.
"All I can say is that we won," MSU coach Grant McCasland said. "It's not the way we prefer it, but I'm proud of the way we found a way down the stretch. That's the key this time of year is to win."
The Mustangs earned a berth in next week's Lone Star Conference Championship at Bruin Fieldhouse in Bartlesville, Okla. and will go in as either No. 2 or 3 seed in the South Division pending the outcome of tonight's West Texas A&M/Eastern New Mexico contest.
If West Texas A&M wins, the Mustangs will play Texas A&M-Commerce Thursday at 6 p.m. or if Eastern New Mexico comes away victorious MSU will face Cameron at noon on Thursday.
Michael Lloyd picked up the slack on more than one occasion for the Mustangs as the senior finished with a game-high 23 points in 18 minutes while connecting on 9-of-11 shots including a 5-of-6 effort from beyond the arc.
"Mike Lloyd made big shot after big shot," McCasland said. "But Darrick Thomas was huge for us along with Keonte Logan. They were our MVPs tonight."
Lloyd rescued the Mustangs from an early 11-0 deficit as he connected on MSU's first nine points of the game before Keonte Logan knocked down consecutive treys to knot the game at 17-17 at the 9:48 mark of the first half.
Midwestern would lead by as many as eight points in the opening half and took a 40-34 lead into intermission.
The Mustangs pushed the lead to as many as 11 points early in the second half, but ACU came roaring back with a 14-2 run to take a 70-67 lead when Zach Williams hit a baseline jumper with 6:39 to play. That would be ACU's last field goal of the night.
Then Michael Lloyd knocked down a 3-pointer from the top of the key and converted a layup as MSU regained the lead 72-70 with 5:34 to go.
ACU's Preston Davis hit a pair of free throws on the next possession to tie the game before the Mustangs closed the game on a 10-1 run.
Thomas finished with 20 points and nine rebounds including a 12-point, 8-rebound flourish in the second half.
Keonte Logan finished with a season-high 12 points including three 3-pointers, while Giordan Cole paced Abilene Christian with 18 points and six rebounds.
Midwestern State improved to 21-7 on the season, while the Wildcats finish the campaign at 9-17.