Midwestern State's Kirsti Degelia delivered one her finest all-around performances on opening night of the Comfort Inn and Suites/Ashbrook Classic.
But a couple contributions from a pair of teammates providing the winning spark as the Mustangs took down Colorado Mines 67-60 Friday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
Degelia battled her way through an off shooting night by working her way to the free throw line where she scored 12 of her team-high 22 points. She also remained active seven rebounds and seven assists to keep the Mustangs in a nip-and-tuck contest against an Oredigger team, who brought a 2-0 mark into the weekend.
Sophomore guard Lisa Hampton drilled back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Mustangs a 58-52 lead with 4:38 to go.
Then when Colorado Mines clawed back within a bucket, senior guard Ashley Rush used a deft cross over to get into the paint the then flipped a floater into bucket for a traditional three-point-play to put the game away for the Mustangs.
The heroics nullified Angie Charchalis' 23-point effort for Colorado Mines in a game which featured 11 ties and 15 lead changes.
Sophomore forward Andrea Carter notched her second straight double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds to go along with four steals and two blocked shots in 28 minutes.
Rush and Hampton pitched in 9 and 6 points each to lead the bench effort while freshman forward Jennifer Sissel was solid contribution four points and five rebounds in 20 minutes of court time.
Midwestern State takes on Fort Lewis (Colo.) Saturday night in the Ashbrook Classic finale. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at D.L. Ligon Coliseum or 25 minutes after the conclusion of the opening game between McMurry and Colorado Mines which begins at 5 p.m.
Fort Lewis upended McMurry 64-53 in Friday night's tournament opener.
Midwestern State's Keith Spellman rattled off 12 of his game-high 21 points in a critical span of two minutes and 44 seconds midway through the second half to carry 23rd-ranked Mustangs past Oklahoma Christian 71-56 Friday afternoon in the Al Kaly Shriner's Classic at Missari Arena.
The Mustangs, who improved to 3-0, battled host Colorado State-Pueblo Saturday night in the tournament finale. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. (Central Time).
Senior guard Kevin Grayer kick started the Mustangs after OC's Nick Tate knotted the game at 38-38 on a driving layup with 12:37 to play.
Grayer drilled his lone 3-pointer of the game and converted a three-point play to give the Mustangs a 44-38 edge.
Willie Harper curbed the run temporarily with a short jumper before Spellman went to work.
The sophomore transfer from Western Texas buried his second triple of the game and converted a traditional three-point play sandwiched around a Corbin Thomas dunk to give MSU a 52-40 advantage with 10:20 to go.
Spellman knocked 3-of-4 free throws before nailing a trey to give the Mustangs a commanding 58-41 advantage with 8:31 to play to cap an extended 17-3 run.
Grayer finished with 10 points, six rebounds and four assists while Thomas had 10 points and six rebounds.
Junior forward Derek Kaster paced the Mustangs off of the bench with eight points and a team-high 10 rebounds while Monzaigo Williams and Derrell Gibbs chipped in eight points of their own.
Kendre Talley scored 15 points to lead Oklahoma Christian which dropped to 3-2 on the season.
Iowa Park 39 (1-1)
Henrietta 68 (2-0)
Memphis - 40
PET: Abbie Anderson 10 pts
BOW: Courtney Brady 22 pts
Burkburnett 49 (1-2)
BURK: Autumn Johnson 13 pts, Mikaila Billinger 10 pts