No one can question the heart and determination of this season's edition of the
Midwestern State Mustangs.
MSU put on an 18-4 run over the final 5:49 to overcome a game Angelo State effort to claim a 65-55 win Saturday night at the Junell Center in San Angelo, Texas.
"What a physical game tonight," MSU coach Nelson Haggerty said. "To Angelo's credit, they were physical and aggressive. They decided they were going to match us. We took it over late by being the most physical and aggressive team."
Junior guard Cam Adderley pitched in nine of his 13 points during the decisive run, including the go-ahead 3-pointer from the left corner to give the Mustangs a 55-53 lead with 3:34 to play.
"(Cam) had a horrible first half," Haggerty said. "But late in the game, he really took over. He was just all over the floor and had some big time rebounds."
Midwestern trailed by as many as 13 points after ASU's Antonio Dye culminated an 11-0 run with a layup to give the Rams a 31-18 lead with 2:09 to play.
It was the seventh time this season the Mustangs have overcome a deficit of 8-or-more points to claim a victory. It's also just the second time since MSU joined the Lone Star Conference in 1996-97 season that it improved to 6-0 in league play.
The Mustangs made a defensive change which played a pivotal role in limiting Angelo State to a 26.6-percent shooting performance in the second half.
"We decided to switch everything on their ball screen offense," Haggerty said. "When you have guys that can guard all five positions on the floor, it just gives us a lot of options. Cam (Adderley), Corbin (Thomas) and Derek (Kaster) all did very well matching up against their guards."
Sophomore guard Keith Spellman joined Adderley with 13 points to lead the Mustangs while senior forward Corbin Thomas completed his fifth double-double of the season with 10 points and 14 rebounds.
Senior guard Kevin Grayer also pitched in 10 points, eight rebounds and four assists for the Mustangs who improved to 10-3 on the season.
Antonio Dye notched 13 points to lead Angelo State which fell to 3-9 on the season and 1-5 in conference play.
Midwestern State completes a four-game road swing Wednesday night at Texas A&M-Commerce. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Midwestern State shrugged off a decade of struggles at Junell Center Saturday
night coming away with a 69-59 win over Angelo State.
The Mustangs improved to 9-3 on the season while moving to 4-2 in Lone Star Conference play.
"That was a big win. We hit some shots down the stretch that we needed to and were able to get to the free throw line," MSU coach Noel Johnson said. "We had a little more pep in our step on defense."
The win is the first for Midwestern State in its 11th try against Angelo State since the Junell Center opened in 2002. MSU did beat Cameron in its first game on the floor in the 2002 Lone Star Conference Championship semifinals.
Junior guard Kirsti Degelia splashed in a game-high 19 points, while sophomore guard Dianna Jones dominated in the second half scoring all of her 15 points after intermission.
But it was Andrea Carter who provided the spark for the Mustangs serving as the catalyst in a 9-0 run midway through the second half. The sophomore from Angleton made three of her five steals and had a block during the run as MSU extended a slim one-point lead into a 47-37 advantage on Carter's steal and layup with 7:42 to play.
The hot stretch allowed the Mustangs to overcome a sluggish start in the first half. MSU struggled to 37-percent shooting from the floor but trailed by a single point at 25-24 at the break.
"We had a little heart-to-heart about our effort," Johnson said. "(Angelo State has some) active, physical players. Andrea was able to get a few steals in the half court and we fed off of that."
Jones provided an offensive lift seemingly getting to the rim at will throughout much of the second half hitting 5-of-8 shots from the field while connecting on each of her five free throws in the final stanza.
"When (Jones) turns the corner and decides to go score, she is very dynamic. When she is on, she's on," Johnson said. "We feed off of that big time. She stepped up as a leader for us at the point guard position."
The Mustangs also turned the tables on the 'Belles by constantly posting up Degelia, who finished just 5-for-10 from the field but worked her way to the line for eight made throws in 10 attempts.
"We posted her up a little bit," Johnson said. "They are really notorious about posting up guard. We wanted to give them some of what they have given us."
The Mustangs also used an active 2-3 zone defense to hold Angelo State to 35.7-percent shooting from the floor.
Carter finished the game with 10 points, seven rebounds and five steals while sophomore guard Shatoia Gober pitched in seven points.
Lauren Holt paced the Belles (6-6, 3-3) with 16 points and five rebounds.
Midwestern State completes a four-game road trip Wednesday at Texas A&M-Commerce. Tipoff at A&M-Commerce Fieldhouse is slated for 5:30 p.m.