Michael Loyd and JaMichael Rivers combined for 31 points to lead Midwestern State to a 79-64 win over Eastern New Mexico Saturday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum to clinch a share of the Mustangs' sixth Lone Star Conference championship.
The Mustangs will face Texas A&M-Commerce - a 83-78 over Angelo State - as the top seed in the LSC Postseason Tournament Wednesday night at 8:30 p.m. at the Allen (Texas) Event Center.
Midwestern State (23-3, 15-3) finished as co-champions with Tarleton State, but claimed the top seed by virtue of a tiebreaker.
Michael Loyd tallied 10 of his game-high 16 points in the opening half, while Rivers scored nine of his 15 points after halftime.
The played a tight first half as the lead changed hands eight times and was tied on three other occasions before the Mustangs closed the half on a pair of layups by Anthony Harris and Rivers to lead 36-31 at the half.
Eastern New Mexico closed to within 36-33 on a Curtis Wilkinson tip-in start the half before MSU went on a 14-2 run to claim a 50-35 edge on a Harris dunk with 14:15 to go.
The Mustangs led by as many as 19 points in the second half to cruise to its 15th consecutive win at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
Harris added nine points and four rebounds in 20 minutes off of the bench while senior forward David Terrell chipped in seven points and eight rebounds.
Senior guard Melvin Clark connected on a long jumper and a 3-pointer in the closing minutes to finish with five points.
Greg McFarland notched 13 points and seven rebounds to lead Eastern New Mexico which closed the regular season at 14-13 and 7-11.
Midwestern State overcame a 12-point deficit to roll to a 64-55 win over Eastern New Mexico in its home finale Saturday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
Senior Karissa Lang provided the final separation for the Mustangs with her first two buckets of the contest connecting on a 17-footer than burying a 3-pointer from the left corner for a 58-53 lead with 2:16 to go.
The Mustangs (19-7, 15-5) open the Lone Star Conference Postseason Tournament against Incarnate Word at noon on Thursday at the Allen (Texas) Event Center.
It was a long climb back for the Mustangs who fell behind by 12 after ENMU Kiara Tate hit a pair of free throws to give the Ziaas a 30-18 lead with just 57 seconds remaining in the first half.
But Shatoia Gober hitting a driving layup to close the half and Kirsti Degelia scored the first five points of the second half on a layup and a three-point play to pull the Mustangs to within 30-25.
The Zias retained the lead until Savannah Carver and Degelia connected on consecutive 3-pointers to tie the game at 40-40 with 8:09 to go before MSU took the lead for good on Jazman Patterson's layup with 6:35 to go.
Eastern New Mexico would knot the game three more times before Lang scored five consecutive points to give the Mustangs control of the game down the stretch.
Lang not only impacted the game with her late scoring surge, but added to a solid line with six assists, five rebounds and a steal.
Carver paced the Mustangs with a game-high 18 points while Degelia finished with 13 points and seven rebounds and Patterson had nine points and eight rebounds.
Precious Herrin had 17 points and six rebounds to pace Eastern New Mexico which closed the regular season at 10-16 and 8-12.
The Zias take on Tarleton State in the opening round of the LSC Postseason Tournament Thursday night at 8:30 p.m.
Central Missouri plated five unearned runs in the seventh inning to squeak past Midwestern State 6-5 Saturday afternoon in the Best Western Premier Spring Fling at North Lakes Park.
The collapse spoiled a great showing by freshman starter Brenna Hennan, who allowed one run on a run-scoring single by UCM's Madora West in the third inning. Hennan permitted just five hits in 5 2/3 innings with a strikeout and a walk, but did not factor in the decision.
The Mustangs rallied for a tally in the bottom of the third when Elena Bennett drew a leadoff walk, stole second then tied the game at 1-1 on Mallory Mooney's RBI-single up the middle. Bennett would reach in each of her four plate appearances finishing 3-for-3 with two stolen bases.
MSU took advantage of a Central Missouri miscue in the fifth inning when Kelley Schaeffer reached on an error by the shortstop to lead the bases with two outs for senior outfielder Nicki Duff.
The senior from Plano tucked a triple down the right-field line to clear the bases and give the Mustangs a 4-1 lead.
Central Missouri chased Hennan in the sixth inning as the Jennies put two on with two out before MSU freshman Lindsi Glenn came on and allowed a single to left field by UCM's Nicole Norberg, but Duff pegged the runner out at home to allow the Mustangs to escape the frame without damage.
The Jennies appeared to be going silently in the seventh as Brittany Martin reach on a single through the left side before Glenn induced consecutive fly outs to the outfield.
But an error extended the inning as the next five Jennies reach based as West, Katie Groves and Jakki Prater drove in runs before Norberg delivered the big blow with a two-run double to right field to give Central Missouri a 6-4 advantage.
The Mustangs would get one back in the bottom of the inning as Kim Jerrick and Christina Roosmalen drew walks and Courtney Ford lined an RBI single to right field, but was caught in a run down to end the game.
Glenn took the loss to fall to 8-5 on the season allowing five unearned runs on five hits while walking to in 1 1/3 innings of relief.
Megan Schallom allowed five runs - two earned - on seven hits with seven strikeouts and five walks to claim the win for Central Missouri, which improved to 6-2 on the season.
Midwestern State's Courtney Bingham continued her torrid pace by going 3-for-4 at the plate to lead the Mustangs to a 5-2 win over St. Edward's (Texas) at the Best Western Premier Spring Fling Saturday at North Lakes Park.
Freshman southpaw Lindsi Glenn came on in relief to allow three hits over seven innings to improve to 9-5 on the season.
The Mustangs struggled in the field with a pair of errors allowing the first five Hilltoppers to reach base in the first inning as starter Brenna Hennan failed to retire any of the four hitters she faced.
MSU escaped allowing just two runs after Glenn came on to retire three straight after the first hitter she faced reached on an error. She would send down 15 straight hitters between the second and seventh innings.
The Mustangs pulled within a run on Bingham's RBI single up the middle in the fourth inning then surged to a 3-2 lead after Nicki Duff and Courtney Ford served up run-scoring singles in the fifth.
Senior third baseman Mallory Mooney tacked on an RBI double in the sixth and sophomore catcher Kim Jerrick added a sacrifice fly to push the Mustangs' advantage to 5-2.
The Mustangs closes out tournament play Sunday afternoon against Pittsburg State (Kan.). First pitch is set for 1:30 p.m.
The Midwestern State Mustangs won their home opener Saturday, downing Cowley County (Kan.) 6-3 at the MSU Tennis Center.
The Mustangs (4-2) claimed two of the three doubles points and four of the six singles points in beating the seventh ranked team in the NJCAA.
Midwestern was led by the top duo of Mario Urban and Colby Meeks. The pair won the No. 1 doubles over Zack Evenden and Jack Busby 8-5, then won their singles matches.
Urban beat Evenden, who is ranked sixth in the NJCAA, in three sets at No. 1 singles, 7-6, 1-6, 7-6. Meeks claimed the No. 2 singles over Busby 7-6 and led 2-1 when Busby defaulted.
The Mustangs also got a win at No. 2 doubles with Jarrod Liston and Tomas Grejtak beat Nei Dos Santos and Manuel Raga 9-7.
Grejtak downed Dos Santos 6-3, 6-4 at No. 5 singles, while Jay Henton downed John Ward at No. 6 singles 6-4, 6-0.
Cowley County won the No. 3 doubles as Rory de Boer and Kacper Boborykin fell to Ward and Edgardo Tapi 8-4.
Boborykin lost to Tapi at No. 3 singles 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, while Liston fell to Raga 6-7, 6-4, 6-1 at No. 4 singles.
The Mustangs will play again next Saturday on the road in Tyler, facing Tyler Junior College and Texas-Tyler.