The MSU Mustangs took the best shot that Tarleton could give and still delivered a victory, 78-76, over the Texans to stay unbeaten in Lone Star Conference action.
Midwestern State (15-3, 4-0) won their 11th straight game with the victory, as well as snapping Tarleton's (13-2, 1-2) fourteen-game home winning streak. The last time the Texans lost a game at Wisdom Gym was one year ago when the Mustangs won in overtime.
The game started in favor of the Texans, seeing Tarleton take an early 7-0 lead on baskets from Michael Hardge and Mo Lee. MSU weathered the storm and powered back over the next 5 minutes to take a 18-17 lead on a triple from Thad Rideau.
Thad Rideau's electric play in the first half kept the Mustangs in the fight. Rideau scored all of his 14 points in the first half.
MSU would see Tarleton re-take the lead and run the score to 31-23 with 6:57 left in the half. The Mustangs continued to fight, cutting the TSU halftime lead to 41-39.
The second half opened with Bretson McNeal scoring 5 straight to give MSU a 44-41 lead. McNeal stayed hot throughout the game despite being in foul trouble. Bretson ended the night with 23 points and 4 fouls.
The Mustangs used the second half to get back to their game, finally grabbing a rebounding edge over the Texans. MSU was outgained 14-13 on the boards at the half and finished by besting Tarleton 36-28 on the glass.
MSU would have multiple leads of nine points throughout the half, as late as 5:04 remaining. MSU big men Abiodun Adegoke and Khapri Alston went to work, consistently getting inside position on the Texans and scoring in the paint. Adegoke finished with 9 points, 7 in the second half, and Alston scored 14, six in the last frame. Trevor Fuller got defensive as well, swatting 4 Texan shots.
MSU used late free throws and timely rebounds to hang on for the 78-76 win, despite a flurry of Tarleton baskets in the last 90 seconds.
The Mustangs get a well deserved seven day break, returning to Ligon Coliseum on Wednesday, January 21, to host the Angelo State Rams. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. and can be heard on 95.5 ESPN.
The #20 ranked Midwestern State Mustangs saw their 12-game winning streak snapped by bitter rival Tarleton State, 61-56, on Wednesday night at Wisdom Gym in Stephenville.
The Mustangs (13-2, 4-1) seemed to never get into an offensive rhythm, shooting just 35.8 percent from the field and only connecting on two 3-pointers from 11 attempts.
Tarleton State (9-3, 3-1) pressured the Mustangs into 18 turnovers and outrebounded MSU 39-37. The Mustangs usually outrebound their opponents by an average of 6.8 boards.
TSU began the game hot from beyond the arc, getting triples from Kathy Thomas and Karli Moore to give the TexAnns an early 12-6 lead just 3:27 into the game. The Mustangs would respond by using a 8-0 run over the next four minutes to take a 14-12 lead.
MSU seniors Andrea Carter and Dianna Jones carried the Mustangs in the first half. Carter scored 9 points on 4-of-6 shooting while Jones scored 8, including a deep 3-pointer. Midwestern State would take a 33-28 lead into the halftime break.
Second half action saw the season-leading scorers for Tarleton continue their ways. Kathy Thomas led the way for TSU scoring 19 while Ikpeaku Iwobi added 16 points and 12 rebounds.
The Mustangs would suffer a loss with 5 minutes left and trailing 48-46 when senior Dianna Jones turned an ankle when she came down to the floor from a shot attempt. The Mustangs responded emotionally by tying the game at 54-all with 2:12 to play.
MSU would again tie the game with 1:28 left only to see TSU get 3 offensive opportunities in one possession on two blocks from the MSU interior. TSU's Ikpeaku Iwobi would eventually get a layup with 36 seconds remaining to give the TexAnns the lead. TSU would add late free throws to end the game with the 61-56 win.