Midwestern State's Andrea Carter delivered a rare performance to help the Mustangs overcome a sluggish start in its season opener Friday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
The sophomore from Angleton poured in 20 points and grabbed 20 rebounds as MSU rolled to a 79-58 win over McMurry.
"This sets the tone for the next game," MSU coach Noel Johnson said. "We were a little amped up and wanted to correct some (issues) from the exhibition. We didn't shoot very well because we were very excited to be back in Ligon."
Carter's 20-20 performance was the first for an Midwestern State player since former standout Jel-Ani Armstrong achieved the feat in consecutive game at the end of the 2003-04 campaign. Armstrong went for 24 points and 21 rebounds at Texas A&M-Kingsville then put a 22-point, 22-rebound effort at Texas A&M-Commerce.
But her night could have been that much more impressive.
"A.C. had a great night," Johnson said. "She could have hit a lot more of her shots and could have easily had 30. Her motor runs high and that's why she's a force for our team."
Carter grabbed 10 offensive and 10 defensive boards connecting on 8-of-14 shots and was 4-of-9 from the charity stripe while staying active on the defensive end with five steals and three blocked shots.
The Mustangs slowly pulled away from the Warhawks to take a 37-26 lead into the half.
Junior guard Kirsti Degelia shook off an 0-for-7 start to finish with 13 points to go along with four rebounds and three assists, while sophomore guard Shatoia Gober added 13 points and nine boards.
"Kirsti has a great basketball IQ and knows the game will come to her," Johnson said. "Toi (Gober) got a couple of trash buckets and got some steals. That's what she does. Her athletic ability is hard for people to keep up."
Midwestern would lead by as many as 21 points in the second half.
Junior forward Skyler Warrick had 10 points and four steals in 10 minutes off of the bench.
Junior forward Keshia Collins notched 11 points and five rebounds for McMurry, who begins the season at 0-1.
Midwestern State plays host to the Comfort Inn/Ashbrook Classic next weekend at D.L. Ligon Coliseum. The Mustangs take on Colorado Mines on Friday before battling Fort Lewis (Colo.) on Saturday. Both games begin at 7 p.m.
The No. 23 Midwestern State Mustangs had little to worry about Friday, as they led tipoff to buzzer to defeat Louisiana State-Shreveport 94-65 in the opening round of the Southwestern Oklahoma State Classic.
We did a great a job from the start of setting the tone for the game," said MSU Coach Nelson Haggerty. "We played well defensively and executed well on the offensive. We shot really well and they were all the right ones. I'm really proud of the we played and felt we improved. We are really looking forward to putting a complete game together."
Midwestern was paced by the play of newcomers Keith Spellman and Corbin Thomas, who each had 17 points. Thomas also added seven rebounds to lead MSU.
Spellman was 5-of-11 from the floor, but 3-of-6 from the three point arc.
"He's doing a great job of taking the right shots and shooting the right 3's," Haggerty added. "You just don't realize he's scoring it the way he is."
Kevin Gray added 14 for MSU, while Monzaigo Williams added nine points with six assists.
The Pilots, who received votes in the NAIA preseason poll, held tight with the Mustangs through the first 10 minutes before the Mustangs went on a 10-2 run and never trailed by less than 15 again.
The Mustangs never let the Pilots get closer than 18 points at any time during the second and eventually built up the 29-point difference.
Officially an exhibition for the NAIA school, LSU-Shreveport was led by Tevin Hall with 26 points, while Aaron Jones added 10 and Isaac Reed had eight with seven rebounds.
Midwestern (1-0) faces host Southwestern Oklahoma in the classic's finale on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in Rankin Williams Fieldhouse.
#3 Krum 54
Rider 42 (1-1)
RID: Taliyah Brooks 19 pts