Midwestern State and Tarleton State were the two best teams in the Lone Star Conference all season. Not only was it fitting they both played in the LSC Tournament final here in Allen, but that it went down to the wire, just like the previous two meetings in the regular season.
In the end, MSU prevailed in the final two minutes, hitting clutch 3-pointers and free throws to claim the LSC Tournament title with a 57-51 win over the Texans in front of a raucous crowd at the Allen Event Center.
More importantly for the Mustangs, who improve to 26-3, the win assures MSU of the No. 1 seed in next week's South Central Regional, which will be in Wichita Falls. The Texans fall to 26-5 and will likely remain the No. 2 seed in the regional.
The Mustangs have now four of the last six LSC Tournament titles and improve to 6-0 in tournament finals since joining the Lone Star Conference 1997.
The Mustangs outscored Tarleton 34-20 in the second half, coming back from a 31-23 halftime deficit. It would've been 10 at the half had not been for a baseline dunk by David Terrell, who went 5-of-5 from the field, four of which were on dunks. Terrell, who also had five steals and five rebounds, earned MVP honors for the tournament.
Rounding out the All-tournament team was MSU's Michael Loyd and JaMichael Rivers and Tarleton's Brian Word and Fabian Wilson.
Rivers had a shot to win the MVP honors as well, especially after his clutch 3-pointer with 3:49 to play to give MSU a two-point lead. Terrell had two free throws and Rivers added a layup for a six-point lead with 1:17 to play. Tarleton trimmed the lead in half with a 3-pointer by Chris Harrell with 58 seconds to play. But MSU's Kevin Loyd delivered a dagger with a baseline 3-pointer with 22 seconds to play. Kevin Grayer and Kevin Loyd both hit four free throws down the stretch to preserve the win.
Rivers and Terrell tied for a game-high 12 points each and Kevin Loyd had 11. The Texans were paced by Word's 16 points. Wilson had nine points and 10 rebounds. Tarleton won the rebounding battle 30-24, but shot just 26.9 percent in the second half, while the Mustangs made 10-of-17 field goals (58.8 percent) in the second half.
The two teams split the regular-season series, with Tarleton winning 79-75 in Stephenville and the Mustangs won an 80-75 thriller in triple overtime in Wichita Falls