Reported by: Adam Ostrow
The Midwestern State Mustangs are one step closer to the legendary three peat; three straight conference titles. Thursday night, they beat Texas A&M-Commerce 82-67, advancing to the LSC Semifinals
The Mustangs made only one mid-range jumper right at the start of the second half, but they didn't need the mid-range game when they were dominating in the paint.
"Which dunk? You could pick from about 9 or 10 of them," said MSU Guard Chris Hagan.
"I told them, 'every opportunity I'm gonna dunk it," said MSU Forward David Terrell. "Don't want to lay the ball up today."
MSU scored fifty of their eighty-one points in the paint on twenty-five layups, dunks, and of course, alley-oops
"We felt like their team, defensively, lacked a little bit of depth at the forward position, and we felt like over time, with all of the movement and ball-screens, we could catch them a little bit resting on that mid-line, and go make a play over the top," said MSU Head Coach Grant McCasland.
One thing the Mustangs did have trouble with much of the night was their free throws, shooting just 18 of 38. But when it mattered most they started going down, MSU made 8 of 10 in the final minute.
"Free throw line or whatever, he missed it and went and got it and made a basket," said McCasland. "His effort's there, and when effort's there, I think the rest of it will take care of itself."
Next up for the Mustangs will be their biggest rival; Tarleton State. The Texans were the team that ended MSU's streak under the dome less than two weeks ago. Guard Corin Henry was named the LSC South Division's Defensive Player of the Year.
"I like the matchup because we're both going to play hard," said TSU Guard Corin Henry. "We know Midwestern will come out and give 110% just like we are, and it's going to be a dogfight, The tougher team will win."
In the last meeting, the Texans held Chris Hagan to just 6 points. If the Mustangs are going to advance to Sunday's tournament final, he's going to have to step up and he knows it.
"I have some past experiences where I was a little passive, and I regret them a lot," said Hagan. "So, I try to prevent that from happening."