MSU Women Defeat ECU in Overtime

Midwestern State overcame an eight-point deficit with 2:26 to play, claiming a 94-87 win over East Central (Okla.) Tuesday night at the Kerr Activity Center in Ada, Okla.
"The last 3-and-a-half minutes, it got shaky for us," MSU coach Noel Johnson said. "To ECU's credit, they played hard. They had some kids step up for them and they are going to surprise some people in the Great American Conference."
East Central was in the driver's seat when Ashley Robison finished off a 10-2 run with a driving layup to give the Tigers a commanding 80-72 lead with 2:26 to play. It would be ECU's final field goal of the game.
The Mustangs bounced back with a Cierra Thompson up-and-under in the paint. The senior forward from Llano completed a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds to jumpstart the MSU comeback.
"CT did a great job tonight," Johnson said. "We saw she could really take it to their post players. I'd like to see her go to the line a little more, but she was hitting tonight and gave us a spark on the inside."
Midwestern put East Central in a bad position for the rest of the regulation -- the free-throw line. The Tigers, who were an atrocious 26-of-53 from the charity stripe for the game, extended the game for MSU by going 4-for-9 in the final two minutes.
The Mustangs accepted a four-point swing when ECU junior Jourdan Clark misfired twice at the line before MSU freshman Dianna Jones canned a pair of free to cut the lead to 80-76.
Jones, who finished with a career-high 16 points, hit a jumper in the lane after two more missed East Central charity tosses to cut the lead to cut the Tiger lead to 80-78 with 46 seconds remaining.
Midwestern was dealt another blow when sophomore guard Kirsti Degelia picked up her fifth foul on an Erin Walling 3-point attempt 15 seconds later.
Degelia had kept the Mustangs in the game by splashing in 20 of her career-high 22 points in the second half. She connected on 7-of-9 shots including a trio of 3-pointers - all after intermission.
"When Kirsti is on, she's on," Johnson said. "She creates such an advantage for us. I've told her she's got the green light and to not turn down any shots or any drives."
Still without two of their top three scorers in Carver and Degelia, the Mustangs continued to battle.
Walling hit 2-of-3 free throws before Karissa Lang answered with her lone field goal of the game - a trey from the left wing - to cut the lead to 82-81 with 22 seconds to play.
The Mustangs sent Walling back to the line on the next position as the freshman hit one of two shots to give the Tigers a slim two-point edge with less than 20 seconds to go.
The ball was knocked away on MSU's next possession, but Thompson emerged from the scrum with the ball and was sent to the charity stripe courtesy of Fanta Toure's fifth foul of the contest.
Thompson connected on both throws to send the game to overtime knotted at 83-all.
The teams exchanged buckets in the overtime frame before MSU put the game away by scoring the final seven points of the overtime frame.
Junior forward Lindsay McCown poured in 21 points to lead the Tigers, who fell to 0-4 on the season.
Midwestern State opens Lone Star Conference play Wednesday night at Texas A&M-Commerce. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.

Jordan Gets AVCA All-Region Honorable Mention

Midwestern State's Kiara Jordan earned All-South Central Region honorable mention when the American Volleyball Coaches' Association announced its annual postseason awards.
The two-time Lone Star Conference Libero of the Year ranked second in the region and ninth in NCAA Division II with 6.02 digs per set while leading the Mustangs to their fifth-straight LSC Championship appearance.
The Gilmer, Texas native established a new single-season benchmark with 687 digs and closed second on the school's all-time digs list with 1,936.
She became the first player in MSU program history to earn Daktronics All-South Central Region first-team honors earlier this month.

Jordan notched 20-or-more digs in 14 matches this season while posting a season-high with 40 against Tarleton State on Sep. 24 and again against Incarnate Word on Oct. 20.
She was one of nine players from the Lone Star Conference to receive all-region accolades as West Texas A&M's trio of Ashley Davis (sophomore outside hitter), Erin Dougherty (junior middle blocker) and Lacy Hayes (junior setter) and Abilene Christian senior outside hitter Jennie Hutt were named to the all-region team while ACU middle blocker Sara Oxford garnered Freshman of the Year honors.
Receiving honorable with Jordan were West Texas A&M's Lauren Beville, Texas Woman's Viktorija Jablonska and Angelo State's Alex Woolsey.
Midwestern State closed the 2011 season with a 15-16 mark.