MSU Roundup: Winning Hoops

MEN'S HOOPS

Anthony Harris poured in a season-high 33 points to lift No. 23 Midwestern State to a 72-68 Lone Star Conference win over Texas A&M-Kingsville Saturday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.

For the third straight game, the Mustangs overcame a second-half deficit to improve to 9-0 for the fourth time in school history and for the first time since opening the season with 14 consecutive wins in 2009-10.

MSU moved to 4-0 in the LSC for just second time since making the jump to NCAA Division II in 1996-97. The 1999-00 squad ran off 13-straight league wins before falling in the regular season finale.

But the Mustangs had to overcome a long, dominant stretch by the Javelinas, which fell to 6-6 and 1-3.

Texas A&M-Kingsville closed the first-half on a 15-2 run to turn a 26-19 MSU lead with 5:57 into a 34-28 halftime lead for the Javelinas. It was second-straight game that the Mustangs trailed at the intermission.

TAMUK extended the run to 27-9 over a 9:09 stretch over into the second half and led by 11 when Marshall Bonds III gave the Javelinas a 46-35 edge with 16:48 to play.

Behind 15 second-half points by Harris, the Mustangs continued to chip away and used a 9-2 run to overtake TAMUK when Darrick Thomas' free throw with 5:44 to play gave the Mustangs 59-58 lead.

The Mustangs would never trail again.

Harris connected on 7-of-16 shots from the field and went 17-of-23 from the free throw line and added eight rebounds in a season-high 34 minutes of court time.

He was the lone MSU player in double figures as JaMichael Rivers added nine points while MIchael Loyd and Kevin Grayer had seven points each.

Ashton Brown paced Texas A&M-Kingsville with 23 points while Robert Williams tallied 15 points and four rebounds.

Midwestern State takes on Abilene Christian in a Lone Star Conference contest Monday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.

WOMEN'S HOOPS

Midwestern State committed just four turnovers to build a big first-half lead and cruised to an 86-70 Lone Star Conference win over Texas A&M-Kingsville Saturday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.

The Mustangs won their second straight game to improve to 6-3 on the season and moved to 3-1 in league play.

MSU used spurts of 14-2 and 14-0 and led by as many as 23 points in the opening half when sophomore forward Skyler Warrick hit a transition runner in the paint to give the Mustangs a 49-26 advantage with 15 seconds remaining before halftime.

Midwestern held a 16-0 edge in points of turnovers in the opening to take control of the game.

The Mustangs extended their lead to a game-high 32 points when Dianna Jones canned a 3-pointer to give MSU a 75-43 with 9:56 to play.

The Javelinas narrowed the deficit to 16 points during trash time.

Senior guard Savannah Carver paced the Mustangs with 15 points to pace a quartet of Mustangs in double figures.

Senior forward Cierra Thompson pitched in 14 points and five rebounds followed by Shatoia Gober (13 points), Warrick (11 points, 4 rebounds) and Jones (10 points).

Junior guard Inneka Stevenson scored 15 points and had nine rebounds to lead Texas A&M-Kingsville which fell to 1-8 and 0-4.

Midwestern State returns to action Monday night when it plays host to Abilene Christian at D.L. Ligon Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.

FOOTBALL

Midwestern State's Brandon Kelsey finished fourth in the overall balloting for the Harlon Hill Trophy as announced Friday night by the City of Florence, Florence-Lauderdale Tourism, Opti-Net, Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa and Herff Jones.

The 6-2, 203-pound junior from Arlington led the nation's top-ranked offensive attack which produced 531.9 yards of total offense and rated second in the nation with 323.5 rushing yards per game.

Kelsey accounted for 967 rushing yards while completing 152-of-223 passes for 1,951 yards.

He accounted for three of the eight 200-yard passing/100-yard rushing performances in school history as he performed the feat against Incarnate Word (210 passing yards, 113 rushing yards), Angelo State (237, 134) and Abilene Christian (205, 114).

Kelsey accounted for 11 rushing touchdowns and passed for 17 more.

Mars Hill senior Jonas Randolph claimed the Hill Trophy as the 2011 Division II College Football Player of the Year after leading the nation with 2,170 rushing yards.

Randolph had six games of 200 or more rushing yards and nine of over 100 rushing yards.

He claimed the nation's top honor by a mere three votes over Washburn senior quarterback Dane Simoneau by a 120-to-117 margin with Delta State's Micah Davis closing out third with 101 votes.

Kelsey received 18 first-place votes, 11 seconds and 12 thirds for a total of 88 points.

The top three received invites to attend Friday night's Harlon Hill Trophy Banquet in Florence, Ala. as a prelude to Saturday's NCAA Division II national final.