ALLEN, Texas – The Midwestern State Mustangs entered Friday's semifinal matchup with a 10-game winning streak, but at least Angelo State could hang its hat on being the last team to knock off MSU back in late-January.
But the Rams were no match this time around for the Mustangs, who seized control early on and never looked back. The No. 2 seed Mustangs cruised into the LSC Championship final round with an 82-63 win over Angelo State, the third-seed of the tournament.
MSU, which has now won 11 straight, including two wins over ASU, advances to its fifth LSC final in six years and seeking its fourth title in that span and seventh overall. The Mustangs (22-6) will face the winner of Texas A&M-Commerce-Tarleton State.
The Rams fall to 19-8 and will now wait to see if they qualify for next week's South Central Regional. ASU were eighth in the latest ranking with the top eight teams advancing.
While facing a hot-shooting Mustang team was tough enough, the Rams had to play most of the second half without star forward Kenny Williams, who battled foul trouble all day before getting ejected with consecutive technical fouls early in the second half. Williams, a first-team All-LSC selection and LSC Newcomer of the Year, still had nine points and four rebounds in 19 minutes. Chantz Chambers and Tommy Woolridge each had 10 points off the bench to lead the Rams.
MSU had 11 players score, including a team-high 16 points for Xavier Blackburn. DeJuan Plummer hit three first-half 3-pointers and finished with 13. Monzaigo Williams had an all-around game of 10 points, six rebounds and five assists. DeVaughn Jones had nine points and six rebounds in 11 minutes.
The Mustangs trailed early 7-3, but went on a 27-6 run to take a 30-13 lead after Eddie D'Haiti's jumper. MSU led 38-20 at the half and the Rams trimmed it to 14 in the first three minutes but never got closer. The Mustangs led by as much as 26 before going deep into the bench.
The Rams were out-rebounded 39-29 and made just one of 10 3-point attempts.
Midwestern State Notes
• MSU advanced to the LSC Postseason finals Saturday against Tarleton State/A&M-Commerce winner.
• MSU improved to 22-6 on the season.
• MSU improved to 25-7 (.781) all time in the LSC Postseason Tournament.
• MSU improved to 8-3 all time in LSC Postseason Tournament semifinal round games.
• MSU extended its winning streak to 11 games -- last lost 83-68 on Jan. 22, 2014 at Angelo State.
• MSU won its third straight LSC Postseason Tournament semifinal round game.
• MSU improved to 45-24 all time against Angelo State.
• MSU won second-straight game against the Rams -- last lost 83-68 on Jan. 22, 2014 in San Angelo.
• MSU improved to 5-2 on neutral floors this season.
• MSU improved to 73-19 (.793) overall under head coach Nelson Haggerty.
• MSU improved to 154-38 (.802) since the start of the 2008-09 season
ALLEN, Texas -- Former Houston Rockets' coach Rudy Tomjanovic put it succinctly when he said to never underestimate the heart of a champion.
He could have just as easily have been talking about this year's version of the Midwestern State Mustangs.
Noel Johnson's bunch put it all on the line in another epic battle with No. 5-ranked West Texas A&M before falling to the Lady Buffs 86-85 in overtime Friday night in the Lone Star Conference Postseason Tournament semifinals at the Allen Event Center.
"This was a game that was going to come down to how you executed down the stretch and down to a rebound," Johnson said.
After battling to double overtime in the 2013 championship game, the teams exchanged the 19 times and the game was tied on 12 other occasions as the Mustangs and Lady Buffs extended the fight into overtime.
MSU junior forward Andrea Carter poured in a career-high 29 points and pulled down 12 rebounds to nearly offset a monster performance from WT forward Chontiquah White, who scored a game game-high 32 points to go along with 11 rebounds.
"Andrea is such a dynamic player. She has such a knack to create as a forward and with the guard skills she has," Johnson said. "She was one of the reasons why we continued to grind away at West Texas."
West Texas A&M raced out to an 18-8 lead before the Mustangs came storming back to take a brief lead in the first half as the teams steadily exchanged the lead in the second half.
The Mustangs received a great performance by sophomore guard Nicole Smallwood,who ho connected on three 3-pointers to finish with 11 points, while Shatoia Gober controlled the mid-range area to score 13 points to go along with six rebounds and four assists.
Senior guard Kirsti Degelia knocked in two treys to finish with 11 points before fouling out in 39 minutes.
"It was a great game. Both teams fought hard," Degelia said. "It was devastating at the end because we played as hard as we could and tried our best. I couldn't be more proud of how hard this team fought."
The Mustangs appeared to grasp the postseason magic against when Dianna Jones forced a turnover and raced in for the tying layup with 18 seconds to go to force the extra period.
The teams experienced four more lead changes in the overtime period before Gober cut the lead to one with 36 seconds to play.
MSU elected to defend making the stop, but it only left 3.9 seconds for a final play. Gober's runner from 30-feet out was on line, but missed long.
"I'm really proud of our team and how we came together," Carter, "We went through some adversity and came up a little short."
The Mustangs (18-11) await selection for the NCAA Division II Postseason. The selection show is set for 9 p.m. Sunday night on NCAA.com.
PORTALES, N.M. -- Senior outfielder Kim Jerrick slugged a two homers in her return from injury to lead Midwestern State to an 8-4 win over Eastern New Mexico in Game 1 Friday afternoon at Zia Field.
The Mustangs have now won five of their last six games to improve to 15-9 on the season and 3-1 in Lone Star Conference play.
Jerrick blasted a two-run shot to left field to pull the Mustangs even at 3-3 in the third inning, then launched a three-run shot to left-center field in the fourth to push MSU's advantage to 7-4.
The Belle Plaine, Kan. native now has 49 career homers and nine homers for the season.
Sophomore second Shelby Carter delivered a run-scoring single to left field in the third inning and Katy Vandewater added a solo home run - her eighth of the year - in the fourth inning to close out MSU scoring.
Junior third baseman Kelley Schaefer was 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored, while Vandewater was 2-for-4 to pace MSU's 10-hit attack.
MSU freshman Erin Knox faltered in the first inning to have her six start stretch of wins by allow three earned runs on three hits in one inning of work.
Sophomore Kat Batey came in to shut down the Zias allowed just a solo homer on three hits over the final six frames to improve to 3-3 on the season.
The Mustangs and Zias play a second game this afternoon before closing the series with a single game Saturday beginning at noon.
PORTALES, N.M. -- Midwestern State's Shelby Carter belted a grand slam to highlight an 11-3 run-rule win over Eastern New Mexico in Game 2 Friday afternoon at Zia Field.
The sophomore from Celina went opposite field for her fourth homer of the season to cap a four-run fourth inning as the Mustangs improved to 16-9 on the season and to 4-1 in Lone Star Conference play.
The teams conclude the three-game set on Saturday with a noon showdown at Zia Field. The Mustangs claimed the opening game of the series by an 8-4 count earlier in the afternoon.
The Mustangs used a three-run rally in the top of the first inning keyed by run-scoring singles by Haley Howerton and Katy Vandewater to give starter Katlyn Holmes to a 3-0 lead.
Junior third baseman Kelley Schaefer delivered a run on a sacrifice fly in the second inning to extend the MSU lead to 4-0 and Baylee Voigt added a solo shot -- her seventh of the season -- in the third inning.
That would be all Holmes would need as she improved to 6-4 on the season allowing two earned runs on six hits in five innings to go along with six strikeouts.
Senior catcher Kim Jerrick paced MSU's 12-hit attack by going 3-for-4 with two runs and two stolen bases, while Howerton, Schaefer and Vandewater had two hits each.
Cailon Garmon took the loss for the Zias to fall to 3- on the season. She allowed five runs on six hits with three walks and a strikeout in 2 1/3 innings.
Audrey Velasquez had two hit to lead Eastern New Mexico, who fell to 7-14 and 1-4.