No. 23 Midwestern State dominated the second half of play to improve to 8-0 with a 66-52 win over Incarnate Word Wednesday night at McDermott Center.
"We knew it would be tough coming here," MSU coach Nelson Haggerty said. "Our guys definitely got it going in the second half."
Senior guard Michael Loyd, Jr. came alive to score 13 of his game-high 15 points in the second half after the Mustangs trailed at intermission for the first time this season, at 30-27.
"We know Mike is capable of that," Haggerty said. He played a complete game and he did a marvelous job of getting to his spots and making some buckets."
Loyd, who added four assists and three steals with no turnovers in 28 minutes, ignited an 11-0 run early in the second half with a hanging jumper in the lane.
Loyd then found JaMichael Rivers for a 3-pointer from the right wing before David Terrell and Loyd had back-to-back transition buckets.
Terrell capped the run with a leaner in the paint to give MSU a 44-39 lead with 13:11 left to play. The Mustangs wouldn't trail again.
Darrell Southworth answered with a trey and Shaun Umeh converted a layup to pull the Cardinals even at 44-44.
But Loyd triggered another 9-0 run with a traditional three-point play and culminated it with a another jumper in the lane, as the Mustangs led 53-44.
Senior forward Darrick Thomas added a strong performance with nine points and six rebounds in 24 minutes.
"It doesn't show up necessarily in the stats, but all of his points seemed big," Haggerty said. "And he really did a job on (UIW senior forward) Chris Johnson."
Johnson would finish with 12 points and nine rebounds, but was pressured into five turnovers. Umeh paced the Cardinals with 13 points and five rebounds.
Junior forward JaMichael Rivers had 14 points and five rebounds for the Mustangs while Terrell finished with 10 points and five rebounds.
Midwestern State, who is 3-0 in LSC play for the first time since 2000-01, returns to the dome to take on Texas A&M-Kingsville Saturday night. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.
Incarnate Word fell to 6-4 and 2-3.
Midwestern State used a 15-3 surge early in the second half to crush Incarnate Word 68-50 in Lone Star Conference play Wednesday night at McDermott Center in San Antonio.
The Mustangs improved to 5-3 on the season and to 2-1 in league play. MSU begins a five-game home stand at D.L. Ligon Coliseum Saturday night against Texas A&M-Kingsville. Tipoff is set for 5:00 p.m.
Freshman Andrea Carter, who finished with 10 points and four rebounds, connected on a medium-range jumper to ignite the run at the 16:37 mark.
MSU quickly followed with transition buckets by Shatoia Gober and Kirsti Degelia before Incarnate Word could respond with a Katy Cooke 3-pointer.
That's when freshman Lisa Hampton made her presence felt with a pair of free throws and 3-ball from the left wing before Karissa Lang culminated the run by finishing a nice feed from Carver to put the Mustangs up 53-37 with 10 minutes to play.
When the Mustangs cut off UIW's transition points, the Cardinals struggled.
Incarnate Word tallied 21 of its season-low 50 points in transition and were limited to a 35.6-percent shooting from the field.
Degelia paced the Mustangs with 11 points including a pair of 3-pointers to go along with four rebounds and three assists.
Senior forward Cierra Thompson joined Carver with 10 points, while Patterson chipped in eight points in 21 minutes.
Gober struggled from the field, but contributed two points and eight rebounds in 16 minutes of floor time.
Ifunanya Mora had 11 points to pace the Cardinals, who fell to 6-3 and 2-3.
The awards keep rolling in for Midwestern State senior offensive lineman Amini Silatolu.
The 6-3, 320-pound left tackle garnered Daktronics All America first-team honors as released by the Collegiate Sports Information Directors of America Wednesday afternoon.
Silatolu anchored the best offensive front unit in Midwestern State history this season. The unit paved the way for the nation's top offensive attack which led NCAA Division II with 531.9 yards per game of total offense and in scoring at 48.6 points per game.
The line surrendered just nine sacks in 11 games as the Mustangs ranked second in the country averaging 323.5 rushing yards a contest.
The 6-3, 320-pounder from Tracy, Calif. is easily one of the most decorated players in Midwestern football history.
Silatolu earned All-America honors from the Associatied Press, AFCA, Daktronics and D2Football.com following his junior season of 2010 and was a unanimous preseason pick coming into 2011.
The two-time Lone Star Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year was named a finalist for the Gene Upshaw Award presented to the top line in NCAA Division II earlier this month.
Silatolu was the only player from the Lone Star Conference to earn first-team honors, while three player from the league earned second-team accolades including Texas A&M-Kingsville running back Jonathan Woodson, Abilene Christian defensive lineman Aston Whiteside and Texas A&M-Kingsville linebacker Jeremy Aguilar.
Running back Jonas Randolph of Mars HIll (N.C.) and linebacker Jamarkus Gaskins of Albany State (Ga.) earned Ron Lenz Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, respectively.
The Ron Lenz National Player of the Year award was named for long-time South Dakota State sports information director Ron Lenz in 2008. Lenz was instrumental in the foundation of the Daktronics NCAA Division II All-America program.