MSU Roundup: Men's Basketball Falls in LSC Finals - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

MSU Roundup: Men's Basketball Falls in LSC Finals

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MEN'S BASKETBALL: Mustangs fall to Tarleton State in LSC Finals, 71-65

ALLEN, Texas --Midwestern State did all it could to battle back from a tough first half Saturday night in the Lone Star Conference Postseason Tournament at the Allen Event Center.

The Mustangs battled back from a 12-point deficit just before the half and had a chance to take the lead in the final minute of the game, but Tarleton State senior De'Andre Upchurch proved to be the difference lifting the Texans to a 71-65 win to claim their second straight tournament title.

"They hurt us on the glass a bunch in the first half," MSU coach Nelson Haggerty said. "They beat us to some balls and did a really good job of getting into the paint. Upchurch made some big time plays throughout the basketball game."

Upchurch finished with a game-high 27 points and hit the backbreaking 3-pointer from the left wing to give Tarleton State a 6-point advantage just two possession after MSU senior guard Monzaigo Williams' 12-foot fade-away rattled out which would have given the Mustangs their first lead midway through the first half.

MSU led by as many as six points early but a furious run by the Texans over the closing 6 minutes of the opening proved to be devastating to the Mustangs.

"The last six minutes of the first half, we didn't do a good job of keeping them out of the paint or of not fouling them," Haggerty said. "To be down 10 at that point the way things were going was a probably pretty fortunate."

Tarleton used aggression and a seven-rebound advantage to fuel a 16-1 run as Upchurch scored 10 of his points during the run which turned a 6-point deficit into a 31-22 TSU lead after Davene Carter hit a pair of free throws with 5:10 to play.

The Texans pushed the lead to 12 points before little used Patrick Smith scored a layup at the buzzer to pull the Mustangs to within 40-30 at the break.

Midwestern stayed within striking distance through the second half keeping the TSU advantage under double figures before scoring six-straight points -- all on free throws -- to narrow the margin to 61-60 on two freebies from DeVaughn Jones with 3:55 to play.

The teams exchanged buckets before the Mustangs made a stop forcing a miss from LSC Player of the Year Chuck Guy with 1:44 to play.

But Williams' jumper from the left baseman rattled out and Tarleton State squirmed off the hook as Upchurch hit his third triple of the game after pair of Carter free throws to extend the lead back out to 68-62 with 1:01 to play.

"Upchurch made some big plays and he really ended it with that 3," Haggerty said. "I thought we did a good job on Chucky (Guy) and the rest of their guys. Upchurch was the difference in the game tonight. He was able to make 3s, he was good off of the dribble and was able to get into the paint."

Tarleton big man Damion Clemons (10 points) and Carter (12 points, 12 boards) were the only other Texans in double figures, while Guy finished with 8 points on 3-of-13 shooting.

Williams led the Mustangs with 18 points, while senior forward Eddie D'Haiti chipped in 13 points and seven rebounds.

The loss snapped MSU's 11-game winning streak as the Mustangs fell to 22-7 on the season.

Midwestern awaits selection into the NCAA Division II Championships set for release via live Web stream Sunday night on at 8:30 p.m.      

SOFTBALL: Red-hot Holmes shuts out Eastern New Mexico

PORTALES, N.M. -- Freshman Katlyn Holmes weaved a one-hit shutout and Katelyn Vinson drilled a two-run homer to help Midwestern State complete the sweep of Eastern New Mexico 9-0 in five innings Saturday afternoon at Zia Field.

The Mustangs, who improved to 17-9 on the season and to 5-1 in LSC play, open LSC Showcase play Thursday night against Tarleton State at the City of Wichita Falls Softball Complex. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.

MSU plays two games at Mustangs Park on Friday against Eastern New Mexico and Angelo State before taking on West Texas A&M and Texas A&M-Kingsville Saturday at the City of Wichita Falls Complex. The Mustangs close tournament play with a single game against Texas Woman's on Sunday at Mustangs Park.

Holmes has been brilliant of her last four starts as the reigning LSC Pitcher of the Week permitted a single safety on Amanda Martinez' one-hit single in the third innings. The Gunter product fanned two to improve to 7-4 on the season.

Holmes has posted a 4-0 record with a 0.95 ERA allowing three earned runs on 18 hits with 16 strikeouts and two walks in 22 innings over her last four starts.

The Mustangs struck for two unearned runs in the second innings before erupting for four runs in the third innings keyed by a two-run single by Katy Vandewater and Erin Knox's run-scoring single up the middle.

Vinson capped a three-run fifth inning with her third homer of the season -- a two-run shot to left field.

Vandewater and Knox joined Haley Howerton with two hits each to pace MSU's seven-hit attack. Freshman designated player Baylee Voigt drove in a pair of runs on ground outs in the third and fifth innings.

Eastern New Mexico dropped to 7-15 overall and to 1-5 in LSC play.