MSU Advances To Regional Final

#5 Midwestern rolls on to South Central finals, beats Washburn 72-63

Fifth-ranked Midwestern State and 19th-ranked Washburn University took the floor on Sunday evening in the NCAA Division II semi-finals, with the Mustangs galloping away late for a 72-63 win and the chance to play for a regional championship.
Midwestern State was looking to advance to its third consecutive regional final, while Washburn was hoping to extend a seven-game winning streak and keep its season alive.
The top-seeded Mustangs started out quick with a 6-0 run before the Ichabods jumped on the board with a couple of free throws by junior Bobby Chipman.  The six points were Midwestern's largest margin of the half.
Washburn took its first lead of the game at the 10:38 mark on a Jared Henry layup off a steal to make it 16-15 Ichabods.
Late in the first half, Midwestern used a 6-0 run over a 2:53 second time span to increase their lead to 33-26. 
Ichabod junior Martin Mitchell drained a trey to cut it back to a four point game at the intermission, 33-29.
The lead changed hand six times and was tied twice in the first half.
Midwestern was led by senior Michael Loyd's nine first half points, while Washburn was paced by Mitchell and Will McNeill's six points.
McNeill, the Ichabod's leading scorer at 20.1 points per game, heated up for Washburn in the second half, connecting on seven of 11 shots from the field and one of two from the free throw line for 16 points. 
The Mustangs' David Terrell picked up his fourth foul of the contest with 11:19 remaining in the game, but the rest of the defense picked up the slack.
Senior Keonte Logan, a Wichita Falls native, connected on a three pointer at the 10:23 mark to give Midwestern a six point advantage at 56-50. 
Logan and McNeill collided right in front of the scorer's table at the 6:13 and Logan briefly had to exit the game before returning.
Terrell, playing with four fouls, reentered the game with 5:52 remaining and made his presence felt immediately, clearing out a path for a Jeff Grayer lay in to give the Mustangs a three point lead.
On the next possession, Midwestern extended its lead to five with a steal and layup from Loyd, part of a 6-0 run over 2:30.
Loyd's alley-oop pass to Terrell for a slam with 1:21 left got the tense home crowd to their feet and give Midwestern a 65-59 lead.
The Mustangs ended the game on a 9-4 run to put away the Ichabods.
The Mustangs were led by Loyd's 21 points on six of 13 shooting from the field and eight of ten from the charity stripe, while Darrick Thomas added nine points for Midwestern State. 
McNeill had a game-high 20 points for Washburn, while Mitchell added eight for the Ichabods.
Midwestern State improves to 28-3 overall with the win and advance to the NCAA Division II South Central Regional final on Tuesday night against the Arkansas Tech Wonder Boys, the three-seed in the tournament, The game will tip-off at 7 p.m. at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
Washburn closes their season at 25-8.

Arkansas Tech takes down Tarleton State, 64-63

Ninth-ranked Tarleton State and 15 Arkansas Tech squared off on Sunday evening for the first time ever, with the Wonder Boys escaping with a 64-63 win in overtime and advancing to the NCAA Division II South Central Regional final.
The Wonder Boys reached a regional final for the first time in school history with the win after losing in the regional semi-finals in overtime two of the last three years.
The game was tight between the two-seed Texans and the third-seeded Wonder Boys through the first half.  Tarleton State, Division II's stingiest defense, made life on the perimeter tough for the prolific three shooters of Tech, holding them to two of five shooting from beyond the arc.
Arkansas Tech found some success with five steals early and led by as many as eight points in the first 12 minutes of the game.
Senior Mykel Cleveland accounted for three of the steals despite coming out of the game momentarily early in the contest after running into a hard screen by Tarleton State's Wes Dipprey.
Tarleton State then went on 12-1 run over a 5:22 time span to take a three point lead before Wonder Boys' senior center Will Paul's trifecta knotted the game at 18-18 with 3:13 left in the half, igniting a 9-0 run for Tech.
Texans' center Fabian Wilson, a Lone Star Conference first-team selection, broke the dry spell with a buzzer beating put-back layup to cut the Wonder Boys lead to 24-20 at the intermission.
Paul led Tech with 10 points in the first half, while Wilson paced Tarleton State with seven.
Both teams traded baskets to open the second half until senior Shedrick Haynes trey capped off a 7-0 run by the Texans to tie the game at 29 with 16:50 left.
Davis scored seven of the next 10 points for the Wonder Boys, making it a six-point game at 39-33.
Wilson picked up his third foul on a drive by Paul at the 12:57 mark, sending him to the Texans' bench.  He didn't sit on the bench long, coming back in and putting in a layup with 8:13 remaining, completing a three-point play after a foul by freshman Nick Wayman, pulling Tarleton within two at 43-41.
Paul picked up his fourth foul of the game with 5:58 left on a drive by the Texans' Brian Word, who connected on one of two from the line to make it a two point game at 46-44.
Tarleton State was able to keep the game close and in the game's final minute was when it got real interesting.
After a layup by the Texans' Harrell cut the lead to 56-54, Tarleton stole the ball back, but Harrell was called for a player control foul as he drove into the lane.
On the ensuing inbounds play, the Wonder Boys' Williamson lost control of the ball, giving the Texans the ball with seven seconds left.  Haynes then drove the right baseline, putting up a five-footer to tie the game at 56 with three seconds left.
Senior Matt Haney's three-pointer at the buzzer to try and win the game for Arkansas Tech in regulation was off the mark, forcing overtime.
In overtime, Tech attacked the basket for layups by Davis, Paul and Cleveland, while Tarleton worked the perimeter with a trey from Haynes, his fourth of the game, to make the game 62-59.
After a put back basket by the Texans' Fabian Wilson, Cleveland knocked down both free throws after being fouled to put Tech up 64-61 with 12 seconds left.
Haynes was fouled quickly by the Tech defense, putting him on the line, where he made both shots to cut the margin to one at 64-63. 
On the inbounds, Tech's Davis was fouled, sending him to the charity stripe, where he missed both shots.  Tarleton State's final three-point shot was long, sealing the win for the Wonder Boys.
The Texans were led by Shedrick Haynes game-high 22 points, including four of six from three point distance.  Chris Harrell added 14 and Fabian Wilson 13 points and 16 rebounds for Tarleton State.
The Wonder Boys Will Paul had 19 points in the win, while Davis pitched in 15 points and Williamson 11.
Arkansas Tech improved to 26-6 overall as they advance to the NCAA Division II South Central Regional final on Tuesday night against the winner of Washburn – Midwestern State.
Tarleton State closes their season at 27-6.