Midwestern State clinched at least a share of its seventh Lone Star Conference championship by defeating Abilene Christian 60-55 Wednesday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum in Wichita Falls.
The Mustangs extended their season-high winning streak to six games while improving to 17-5 on the season and to 13-2 in league play.
MSU can clinch an outright title with a win over Angelo State Saturday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.
The Mustangs have a three-game lead in the loss column over Cameron (10-5) and Incarnate Word (8-5) with three games to play.
Midwestern took control of the game with a 12-3 run late in the first half and pushed the lead to 28-17 on Derek Kaster's fast break jumper in the late with 2:25 remaining in the first half.
Abilene Christian cut the advantage to 32-30 on an Eric Lawton 3-ball two minutes into the second half, but once again the Mustangs answered with a 18-3 haymaker and led by as many as 17 at 50-33 when Corbin Thomas hit a pair of free throws with 9:08 to play.
But but pesky Wildcats just wouldn't go away.
ACU put a 13-1 run of its own to cut the lead to 51-46 on a pair of Steven Warner free throws with 4:51 to go and finally tied the game on Lawton's third 3-pointer of the game at 55-55 with 2:03 to play.
MSU's Kevin Grayer finally put the game away for MSU converting a traditional three-point play when he was undercut by Lawton with 1:29 to play then hit a pair of free throws with 2 seconds left to preserve the win.
Grayer paced MSU with 13 points and three steals while Cam Adderley knocked in 5-of-11 shots including a pair of 3-pointers to of within 12 points.
Senior forward Corbin Thomas completed his seventh double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds while sophomore guard Derrell Gibbs banged in three treys for nine points.
Lawton poured in a game-high 17 points to lead Abilene Christian which fell to 11-12 and 5-10.
Abilene Christian's Mackenzie Lankford poured in 33 points as the Wildcats ended Midwestern State's 11-game winning streak 85-72 Wednesday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
The loss locked the Mustangs and Wildcats into a tie for first place in the race for the Lone Star Conference championship at 13-3, just a half-game ahead of Tarleton State which improved to 12-3 with a 78-64 win over Texas A&M-Kingsville Wednesday night.
ACU blitzed the Mustangs with six first-half 3-pointers including three by Lankford, who had 20 points and four assists in the opening half. The Wildcats led by as many as 18 points in the first half.
The Mustangs trimmed the lead back to 11 at 38-27 on a Lisa Hampton layup with 4:08 to go in the opening half, but Abilene Christian eventually took a 46-31 edge into the intermission.
MSU sophomore forward Andrea Carter scored 17 of her team-high 22 points in the second half and completed her 12th double-double of the season with 16 rebounds.
The Mustangs used a 10-2 run to battle back to within seven on a Skyler Warrick jumper from the baseline with 9:31 to play, but ACU converted 16-of-19 free throws to keep MSU at bay.
Junior guard Kirsti Degelia connected on three 3-pointers to finish with 16 points while Hampton pitched in 11 and Warrick narrowly missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds.
Midwestern State plays host Angelo State Saturday afternoon at D.L. Ligon Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m.