BARTLESVILLE, Okla. - Midwestern State's David Terrell put on his own highlight show in the opening round of the Lone Star Conference Championship Thursday night at Bruin Fieldhouse.
The senior forward loaded the reels with an assortment of eight breakaway tomahawk and alley-oop dunks that hurt the rim and surely had each of the 731 fans who watched the Mustangs roll to their 10th-straight LSC postseason win taking an 82-67 decision over Texas A&M-Commerce.
Terrell, who finished with a career-high 24 points and completed his fifth double-double of the season with 14 rebounds, could count LSC South Division Player of the Year Chris Hagan as another observer and that wasn't necessarily a good thing for the Mustangs.
"I rolled my ankle over a teammate's foot trying to watch DT dunk," Hagan said. "But you don't think about (being hurt) your senior you. We just wanted to find a way to win and things aren't always going to be perfect and go your way."
The injury hampered Hagan in the early going as he didn't score until he banged in a 3-pointer over 15 minutes into the game. He made up for lost time the rest of the way finishing with a game-high 26 points.
But the Mustangs made their mark on the Lions by controlling the glass and using the forward quartet of Terrell, Charlie Logan, Darrick Thomas and Thomas Colbert to the greatest advantage.
"We wanted to throw ball to the blocks as much as possible," MSU coach Grant McCasland said. "I was proud of the way we competed. We talked at halftime about rebounding and making sure they didn't get second looks like we had a few times in the first half."
The Mustangs outboarded TAMUC by a 42-27 margin which resulted in a 12-3 edge in the second chance points and held a commanding 50-24 edge in the paint.
"We've struggled rebounding all year," Texas A&M-Commerce coach Sam Walker said. "That was a big part of game plan was to control the boards and that kept us from being able to apply the pressure that we usually do."
And when the Lions did apply the pressure on the MSU backcourt, led by Adrian Van Buren's six-assist night, the Mustangs had the answer by converting on six lob dunks.
According to Walker, that all started with Hagan too.
"Their lob play is a counter to pressure," Walker said. "We're so consumed with him that we're allowing him to set picks. It opens up quite a bit when you have a player like him setting picks on lobs."
Terrell took full advantage hitting on 11-of-14 shots from the field, but remained active on the defensive end with three blocks and three steals.
"I told (coach McCasland) that every opportunity, I'm going to dunk it. There would be no layups," Terrell said.
The Mustangs converted over 50 percent from the field for the third straight games and for the sixth times in the last eight games. That was enough to overcome an atrocious night at the charity stripe where MSU converted 18 of its 38 tries.
"I think (missing free throws) gets contagious," McCasland said. "You see one of the misses and it just seems to go from there sometimes."
Desmond King paced Texas A&M-Commerce with 18 points and five rebounds while Brad Hambrick added 14 and Preston Whitley had 12 as the Lions erased an 11-point first half deficit to lead by as many as three points in the second half.
"We just wanted to find a way to win," Hagan said. "We knew we just had to get down on the defensive end and play hard."
That's exactly what the Mustangs accomplished by holding Texas A&M-Commerce under 40 percent shooting in each half and outscoring the Lions by 18 over the final 14 minutes of the contest.
"I was proud of the way we competed," McCasland said."This team keeps getting better and that's what I like about them. I feel like we took a step forward tonight."