MSU Roundup: Mustangs fall to #1 Metro State in Reg. Finals - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

MSU Roundup: Mustangs fall to #1 Metro State in Reg. Finals

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Mustangs fall to No. 1 Metro State in regional final

DENVER -- Metro State had every look of the No. 1 team in the country Tuesday night in the South Central Region championship game at Auraria Event Center.

The Roadrunners rolled to their 28th-straight win coasting a 78-56 victory over Midwestern State to claim their third consecutive trip to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight.

Metro State (31-1) will face South Region champ Tuskegee (Ala.) -- an 80-59 winner over Delta State (Miss.) Tuesday night -- on March 26 at the Ford Center in Evansville, Ind.

"We panicked a bit," MSU coach Nelson Haggerty said. "We could've handled the traps better in the half court. We just didn't play well and weren't able to get off clean shots against zone."

The Mustangs failed to shoot 40 percent from the field for the fourth straight game, committed 18 turnovers and were out-rebounded (41-36) for just the second time in the last 21 games.

All that combined with a 25-6 spurt over a 7 1/2-minute span midway through the second half allowed the Roadrunners to stretch a 7-point halftime advantage into a commanding 64-37 lead after Daktronics South Central Region Player of the Year Brandon Jefferson connected on a pair of free throws with 8:34 to play.

The opportunistic Roadrunners converted 18 MSU turnovers into 21 points and dominated the Mustangs by a 19-4 margin in second-chance points despite MSU hustling for 17 offensive rebounds.

"We weren't able to put the ball in the basket from close in," Haggerty said. "I think their size may have had something to do with that."

Junior guard Mitch McCarron completed a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Jefferson worked through a 4-of-15 shooting night to join junior center Nicholas Kay with 15 points.

Metro State advances to its eighth Elite Eight where it claimed national championships in 2000 and 2002. The Roadrunners fell in the title game last season to Drury (Mo.).

Senior point guard Monzaigo Williams paced Midwestern State with 10 points and five rebounds, while senior forward Eddie D'Haiti pitched in nine points and pulled down five rebounds.

Senior guard JaMichael Rivers pitched in seven points off of the bench, while Cam Adderley (7 rebounds) and Xavier Blackburn added six points each.

Blackburn earned South Central Region all-tournament mention after averaging 13.3 points and 9.3 rebounds during postseason play.

The Mustangs close the season at 24-8 appearing in their fourth regional final in the last five years. MSU advanced to the NCAA Division II postseason for the sixth consecutive season while claiming its third straight Lone Star Conference championship.      

SOFTBALL: Knox named LSC Pitcher of the Week

WICHITA FALLS, Texas -- Midwestern State's Erin Knox garnered Lone Star Conference Pitcher of the Week honors Tuesday afternoon when league officials announced weekly awards.

The freshman from West earned two wins last weekend at the LSC Showcase to run her season record to 9-2.

Knox held Tarleton State to one run on four hits in four innings on Thursday before limiting Eastern New Mexico to two earned runs on two hits in a complete game victory Friday night.

She posted a 1.91 ERA for the week allowing three earned runs on five hits in 11 innings.

Angelo State's Tina Cisneros and Cameron's Tara Martini were named co-hitters of the week.

Cisneros hit .571 with a double and a homer to lead the Rambelles to a pair of victories at the LSC Showcase, while Martini hit .500 with a pair of doubles while helping the Aggies score nine runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to comeback from an 8-0 deficit Friday against No. 1 West Texas A&M.

Midwestern State returns to action this weekend with a four-game conference series against Texas A&M-Kingsville. The teams play at 5 and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and noon and 2 p.m. on Sunday at Mustangs Park.

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