The MSU Mustangs got double digit scoring from four players, but it wasn't enough as Angelo State cruised to a 78-59 victory on Wednesday night in San Angelo.
With the loss, Midwestern State (19-7 overall, 8-4 LSC) gets swept in the season series with Angelo State for the first time. The Rams entered the game in fourth place in the the first South Central Regional rankings that were released on Wednesday. MSU was ranked fifth, with LSC foe Tarleton at No. 1 and Texas A&M-Commerce 7th.
The Mustangs were cold from the floor all night long. Shooting just 9-of-26 in the first half and 12-of-34 in the second gave MSU a skinny 35 percent shooting for the game. On the flip side, Angelo State was burning up with a 52.8 percent shooting rate for the contest.
The Rams (23-2 overall, 10-1 LSC) got the night started from downtown as Demario Mayfield nailed the opening score from 22 feet away. The long shot was the first of a 5-5 performance from 3-point land by Mayfield.
MSU would keep up the fight early on, cutting the ASU lead to 14-10 on a Bretson McNeal triple with 12:17 to play in the first. The Rams answered quickly with a 12-2 run over the following 5 minutes to push the lead to sixteen at 28-12.
The Rams capitalized on 10 first half Mustang turnovers, converting those into 17 points. Angelo State led 37-22 at the half.
The second half saw more hot shooting from the Rams, while Midwestern State could not make a run to get any closer. The ASU lead was cut to 12, the closest MSU would get, following a jumper by forward Abiodun Adegoke. Big B couldn't find an offensive rhythm on the night as he fouled out in just six minutes of play.
Midwestern State had double digit efforts from Bretson McNeal and Khapri Alston with 12, Derrell Gibbs with 11, and Hershell Grant with 10 points. No Mustang grabbed double-digit rebounds, led by Khapri Alston with 8. MSU was beaten on the boards by ASU 41-36.
"They (Angelo State) made shots all night and executed well," said MSU head coach Nelson Haggerty. "We have to find a way to be better, and we have to do it quickly."
"We have a lot of work to do to fight for a good seeding in the LSC tournament and the national tournament."
The Mustangs return to the Dome at Ligon Coliseum to finish the regular season. Next up is a Saturday, February 21, date with Texas A&M-Kingsville. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Angelo State gets just their third win in Lone Star Conference play on the season, outscoring the deep Mustang bench 17-8 for the contest. Minja Savic scored 8 of ASU's bench points, all in the first half.
Midwestern State (19-5 overall, 10-4 LSC) saw two players notch double-doubles in the losing effort. Shatoia Gober scored 14 points to lead the Mustangs while hauling in 10 rebounds. Andrea Carter tallied 11 points and grabbed 10 boards.
The difference was in the first half, where Angelo State built a 32-25 lead. The Mustangs started the game much like coach Noel Johnson would prefer, building a 6 point lead at the 14:30 minute mark on a triple from Andrea Carter. The Rambelles immediately countered with a three pointer by Keanna Kelly.
Angelo State (8-16 overall, 3-11 LSC) outrebounded the Mustangs 17-14 in the first frame, as well as scoring 20 points in the paint, compared to Midwestern's 12.
MSU ended the half shooting just 35.7 percent from the field. Defensively, the Mustangs allowed Angelo to shoot 58.3 percent in the half.
The second period saw adjustments from the Mustangs. MSU attacked the glass in the second half, outrebounding the Rambelles 30-9. Andrea Carter grabbed 7 of the 30 while Shatoia Gober handled 6.
Midwestern State converted opportunities from 10 ASU turnovers and 17 offensive rebounds. The Mustangs scored 14 second chance points and 8 points off of turnovers. The Mustangs, however, could not keep the ball in their hands, committing 13 second half turnovers themselves.
The free throw line was unusually shaky for the normally consistent Mustangs. As a team, MSU shot just 10-23 from the line for the contest.
Midwestern State never let Angelo State run away with the win, cutting the ASU lead to as close as one, 54-53, with just 16 seconds to play.