Mustangs Rally Falls Short at Newman, 74-65

Midwestern State's heart and hustle were unquestioned Tuesday night at Fugate Gymnasium.

But the Mustangs' ability to convert from the charity stripe greatly hampered their ability to erase a large second half deficit allowing Newman to hang on for a 74-65 non-conference win.

"If we're going to miss 19 free throws, you're not going to beat anyone," MSU coach Noel Johnson said. "We have to learn through these games because it's a growing experience. Newman is a great team with a lot of solid players."

Despite connecting on just 13-of-32 free throws (40.6 percent), the Mustangs battled back from a pair of deficits both in the first and second halves.

Midwestern trailed by as many as six points in the opening half, but used an 8-2 run that could have been more had Cierra Thompson and Kristi Degelia been able to convert traditional three-point plays. Yet, MSU knotted the game at 19-19 on a pair of Shatoia Gober free throws with 6:39 to go before halftime.

Newman's Satoria Bell, who finished with 20 points and six rebounds, connected on a jumper to regain the lead for the Jets, who would never trail again.

Newman overlapped a 17-3 run between the halves to break open a close game as the Jets led 42-27 on Bell's transition jumper in the paint with 17:50 to play. NU would lead by as many as 20 points before the Mustangs gaming storming back.

"We were not aggressively attacking and getting into the offensive flow," Johnson said. "We hang our hats on our press and finally started doing those things in the closing minutes."

The Mustangs' pressure resulted in a 16-4 run fueled by senior forward Savannah Carver, who splashed eight of her team-high 18 points in the spurt.

Carver's third trey of the night pulled Midwestern to within 69-61 with 1:22 to play, but the Mustangs were unable to get any closer.

Freshman guard Shatoia Gober joined Carver in double figures with 14 points and four rebounds, while fellow frosh Andrea Carter finished with eight points, eight rebounds and four steals.

Newman's Tosha Cannon paced the 2-0 Jets with 23 points and 16 rebounds.

Midwestern State hosts the Comfort Inn & Suites/Ashbrook Classic this weekend at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.

The Mustangs open against Central Missouri Friday night before taking on No. 11 Washburn (Kan.) on Saturday. Both games tip off at 7:30 p.m.

Womens Soccer Places Four on Al-Region Team

Midwestern State placed four players on the Daktronics All-South Central Region team released Tuesday morning by the College Sports Information Directors of America.

Seniors Kelsey Hill and Lindsay Pritchard and junior Hanna Staley garnered first-team honors, while junior Maddie Fraser gained second-team honors.

The quartet keyed Midwestern's historic postseason run as the Mustangs claimed their first Lone Star Conference title since 1998 and notched the program's first NCAA Division II postseason victory taking a 1-0 result over St. Edward's (Texas) in the opening round.

As the team's top scoring threat, Hill closed the season with 12 goals and nine assists.

The forward from Wichita Falls became the program's all-time leader in goals scored (46) and points (111) and rates third in school history with 19 assists.

Hill was a hit in the postseason earning LSC Championship MVP honors after scoring the game winner in a 2-1 semifinal result against West Texas A&M, then netted the equalizer on an athletic header in the title game win over ACU.

She added another equalizer against the Wildcats in NCAA II second-round play.

Hill earned second-team Daktronics all-region honors in 2010 and is a two-time National Soccer Coaches' Association of America All-region pick (2008-10). She is the lone player in program history to earn All-LSC first-team accolades in each of her four collegiate seasons.

Pritchard claimed Daktronics all-region honors for the second consecutive season - this time tallying seven goals and seven assists from the midfield.

The dynamic performer from Whitehouse finished with 27 goals and 18 assists during her stellar MSU career to rank sixth and fifth, respectively, on the school's all-time lists.

Pritchard also earned NSCAA first-team all-region status in 2010 and was a first-team All-LSC pick in 2010 and 2011.

Staley, a junior defender from Austin, is MSU's third first-team honoree after earning Daktronics second-team All-America honors as a sophomore in 2010.

She has been a lynchpin for two of the best defensive season in MSU history.

Staley helped the Mustangs to a nine shutouts while limiting the opposition to a 0.70 goals against average this season. MSU posted 10 clean sheets and a 0.75 opponent goals against average during her breakout campaign of 2010.

Staley has earned LSC Defensive Player of the Year honors in each of her last two seasons.

The trio advances to the Daktronics All America ballot.

Fraser garnered second-team accolades after notching one goal and seven assists this season from the midfield.

The team is sponsored by Daktronics, Inc., an acknowledged world leader in scoring, timing and programmable display systems for virtually every sport at every level of competition. The team is voted on by the NCAA Division II members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (D2SIDA), with the online nomination and voting process powered by ATHLETICSITE.COM.