Eastern New Mexico decked No. 12-ranked Midwestern State by scoring the first 27 points Saturday afternoon at Greyhound Stadium to cruise to a 40-21 victory to snap the Mustangs' seven-game winning streak.
"We probably didn't deserve to win today. They out coached and they outplayed us today. We didn't make our opportunities to put the ball in the end zone," MSU coach Bill Maskill said. "We don't play hard and we didn't play inspired but they might have had something to do with it. They played very well today."
The Greyhounds won for the fifth consecutive week to improve to 6-3 on the season and will play for a share of the Lone Star Conference title next Saturday at Texas A&M-Commerce. ENMU is 4-1 in league play.
Eastern scored on four straight first-half possessions to construct a 27-0 lead when quarterback Jeremy Buurma hit Jacob Johnson on a 16-yard scoring strike with 4:57 to play in the first half.
Midwestern State rallied to a score twice in the closing minutes of the opening half on a 1-yard plunge by Keidrick Jackson and a 13-yard Jake Glover-to-Statron Jones TD connection with 25 seconds to intermission to pull the Mustangs within 27-14 at the break.
Jackson rushed for 87 yards on 17 carries to become the first back in MSU history to log three 1,000-yard campaigns as the program's all-time leading rusher now has 1,045 yards this season.
But it wasn't enough against the Greyhounds.
Eastern New Mexico regained momentum after stopping the Mustangs on their opening drive of the second half. MSU failed to convert the first of three second-half fourth down conversion attempts on a drive that terminated at the ENMU 32-yard line.
The 'Hounds needed just seven plays to move the ball 68 yards culminating in Rashan Lawrence's 5-yard run to push the lead to 34-14.
Midwestern would pull back to within two scores when Quade Coward kept the ball on an option play to roll 20 yards for a score with a minute remaining in the third quarter.
That would be as close as the Mustangs would get as ENMU turned a 44-yard punt return by Kevin Reaves into a put away TD rush by Jordan Wells with 5:45 to play.
Eastern New Mexico rolled up 428 yards of total offense gashing the Mustangs for 281 yards on the ground led by E'lon Spight who finished with 90 yards on 15 carries with two touchdowns as he was just one of four Greyhound rushers to find pay dirt.
Junior quarterback Jake Glover completed 16-of-32 passes for 188 yards including the scoring strike to Jones, who had six receptions for 100 yards.
The Mustangs, who amassed 356 yards of total offense, close the regular against rival West Texas A&M Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.
No. 13 Midwestern State drilled five of its eight 3-pointers during a decisive 17-0 spanning the end of the first half and the start of the second to bury East Central 81-67 in the finale of the SWOSU Classic Saturday afternoon at Rankin Williams Fieldhouse.
The Mustangs, who improved to 2-0 on the season, remain on the road next weekend at the Hillyard Classic in St. Joseph, Mo. MSU takes on Northwest Missouri State Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. before taking on host Missouri Western State Saturday night at 8:30 p.m.
Senior guard DeJuan Plummer stayed hot for Midwestern knocking down 8-of-12 shots including a pair of treys to finish with a team-high 21 points in 29 minutes off of the bench.
But he had plenty of help during the Mustangs' big run ignited a Monzaigo Williams trey with 2:27 left in the opening half. Plummer and fellow senior Cam Adderley connected from consecutive shots before the buzzer to give the Mustangs a 36-25 lead at the break.
The run continued in the second half as senior forward Derek Kaster followed his own miss with a second bucket on MSU's first possession of the final stanza then junior guard Derrell Gibbs connected on consecutive 3s to give the Mustangs their largest lead of the contest at 44-25 with 17:11 to go.
East Central chipped away at the lead before scoring a 7-0 run of its own to cut the MSU lead to 63-57 on Aly Hudgins' traditional three-point play with 8:10 to play.
That's as close as it would as MSU pulled away for the double-digit victory.
Williams dropped 17 points and dished out five assists with four rebounds, while junior swingman Xavier Blackburn tallied 11 points and snagged six rebounds in 26 minutes off of the bench.
Adderley gave the Mustangs a fourth double-figure scorer with 10 points, five rebounds and three steals.
Colby Carr scored 17 points off of the bench to lead East Central as the Tigers fell to 0-2.
Adams State (Colo.) started and finished strong to deal 10th-ranked Midwestern State its first loss of the season 64-56 Saturday night in the finale of the Bankers Classic Challenge at Plachy Hall.
"We really didn't show up and that's the bottom line," MSU coach Noel Johnson said. "We played individual basketball out there tonight and I blame it on our leadership."
First half foul difficulties allowed the Grizzlies (2-0) to race out to a 30-20 lead with about four minutes left in the first half before the Mustangs reeled off a 9-0 to claw to within a point as ASU led by five at the break.
"We need to figure out how to get continuity when we have to sub," Johnson said. "We'll figure it out. The girls are very disappointed and understand it. We didn't play like we lost our last ball game tonight. Credit to Adams State for having a good game plan and we just didn't adjust."
The Grizzlies limited MSU to a 34-percent shooting night after the Mustangs connected at a 45.3-percent clip with seven treys in a season-opening win over Colorado State-Pueblo on Friday.
Midwestern briefly led by a point early in the second half, but was unable to sustain the momentum as Adams State methodically expanded the lead back into double figures with five minutes to play.
Junior forward Andrea Carter paced the Mustangs with 13 points and eight rebounds while junior guard Dianna Jones pitched 12 points. Junior guard Shatoia Gober and senior guard Kirsti Degelia pitched in eight and seven points, respectively.
Junior forward Michelle Blanton splashed in 15 points to pace the Grizzlies and was joined in double figures by junior guard Desiree Anderson (13 points) and junior forward Alyssa Palma (12 points). Freshman guard Emilie Klint pitched in nine.
Midwestern State welcomes Texas A&M International for its home opener Tuesday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum. Tip off is set for 7 p.m.