#16 MSU Rallies to Defeat Bronchos 80-61

No. 16 Midwestern State once again showed it has what it takes to get over adversity Thursday night.

The Mustangs came together following Anthony Harris's second ejection of the season to dominate Central Oklahoma 80-61 at Hamilton Fieldhouse in Edmond.

"Our guys responded well and really turned it up," MSU coach Nelson Haggerty said. "We started playing basketball and playing it the right way."

Harris, who was leading MSU with 11 points and three rebounds, tangled with Central Oklahoma junior Josh Davis with 17:29 to play.

"He had got pushed and reacted to the push," Haggerty said. "They called the foul and then the flagrant on Anthony. It's something that we don't condone. We have physical practices and should be used to getting hit. We just don't play that way."

That's when senior guard Michael Loyd stepped forward to score 11 of his game-high 17 points to fuel a 20-2 run immediately following the ejection as the Mustangs surged to a 57-44 lead on Loyd's second trey of the game with 11:55 to go.

"We all rallied around (the ejection)," Haggerty said. "These guys all back each other. In the first half, we weren't playing Midwestern State basketball. We were playing for ourselves in the first half."

Central Oklahoma led by as many as 10 points in the first half spurred by the hot shooting of senior guard Brent Friday, who scored nine of his 13 points in the opening half.

"They came out on fire," Haggerty said. "They were focused and really got off to a hot start."

Senior forward David Terrell came off the bench to notch a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds while JaMichael Rivers added 12 points and seven boards.

The win is the largest road win for MSU over the Bronchos at Hamilton Fieldhouse and was its second biggest margin at the facility topped only by its 75-52 win over Missouri Southern in the 2011 South Central Region semifinal.

Spencer Smith tallied 14 points and six rebounds to lead Central Oklahoma which fell to 8-9 on the season.

Midwestern State takes on rival West Texas A&M Wednesday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m., or 25 minutes following the women's game, which tips off at 6 p.m.