The fourth time was the charm for Tarleton State.
After three straight losses in the LSC Championship final, the Texans finally got over the hump Saturday night with a 53-50 win over No. 1 seed Midwestern State at Allen Event Center.
The Texans (20-9) claimed their second LSC tournament title and first since 2004 and earned an automatic berth to the South Central Regional tournament next week. The Mustangs fall to 21-8 but were ranked third in last week's rankings.
In a chippy and physical back-and-forth contest from start to finish, the Texans got a big 3-pointer from De'Andre Upchurch to cut MSU's four-point lead to 1 at 48-47 with 3:13 remaining.
After both teams exchanged two free throws each, Chuck Guy came up with a steal and then assisted Coleman Furst for a go-ahead 3-pointer from the corner with 1:11 remaining.
The Texans got a big block from Jon Cathey-Macklin and later altered a missed shot in the final seconds.
Guy was named the tournament's MVP with a solid three-game performance this weekend. He had 16 points Saturday night despite 5 of 22 shooting. Upchurch had 11 off the bench. Jon Cathey-Macklin had seven rebounds and five blocks and was a force in the paint. Furst and Cathey-Macklin joined Guy on the All-Tournament team.
Corbin Thomas scored 14 points and had 12 rebounds for the Mustangs. Eddie D'Haiti had 10 points. Kevin Grayer scored eight. After scoring 33 in Wednesday's quarterfinal, Grayer finished the tournament with just 17 points combined in the next two games. Thomas and Grayer were both named to the All-Tournament team.
The first half included a flagrant foul, two warnings from the officials and an exchange of words between coaches at halftime. The Mustangs led 29-25 at the break but the Texans used a 12-3 run to open the half to lead 37-32.
MSU would storm back and things would remain close for the duration of the game, with no team leading by more than four.