Mustangs crush Texas A&M-Kingsville with big second half run

Midwestern State let a 10-point first-half lead get away allowing Texas A&M-Kingsville to have the edge at the half Saturday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.

The Mustangs weren't about to let the Javelinas slide out of town with the victory.

MSU erupted on a 29-3 run over a 10-minute, 44-second span in the second half to roll to a 76-53 Lone Star Conference victory to clinch its seventh consecutive 20-win campaign while moving to 9-4 in league play.

The Hoggies (8-17, 3-10) used an 11-2 run to pull within one point on a Jordan Jahr layup with 2:44 to play in the first half then took the lead on consecutive triples by Don Thomas and D.J. Weathers to take a 25-24 lead.

Texas A&M-Kingsville extended the lead to 30-26 on a Jahr 3-pointer 49 seconds before halftime before Thad Rideau answered with at 3-ball of his to pull the Mustangs to within a point at the intermission.

The Mustangs regained the lead momentarily early in the second before Will West canned another 3-pointer to give the Javelinas their last lead of the night at 37-36 with 15:47 to play.

That's when Midwestern got to work on the defensive end limiting the Hoggies to 1-of-9 shooting from the floor while forcing nine turnovers over the next 10:44 to spur a 29-3 run to take total control of the game.

The Mustangs peeled of 12 consecutive points fueled by 3-pointers from Hershell Grant and Thad Rideau to pull out to a 48-37 lead before Weathers connected on a triple to temporarily halt the run.

MSU scored the next 17 points including a pair of traditional three-point plays by junior forward Khapri Alston and would push the advantage to 65-40 on another transition layup by Alston before TAMUK's Elliot Taylor hit one of two free throws to close the run.

Midwestern pushed the advantage to a game-high 30 points after Trevor Fuller slammed in an alley-oop lob from Kevin Wagner and Patrick Smith followed with a runner in the lane for a 74-44 lead.

Wagner keyed the big night for the Mustangs finishing with eight points, seven rebounds and seven assists to help four MSU players score in double figures.

Alston connected on each of his five shots from the field to finish with 15 points while Grant chipped in 12 points. Junior guard Bretson McNeal joined Rideau with 10 points each.

Midwestern State closes the regular season Saturday night against Cameron at D.L. Ligon Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.