Colorado Christian ousts Mustangs, 67-57

A gritty team on a roll with a quirky 3-2 zone defense spelled doom for Midwestern State in the opening round of the South Central Regional Friday afternoon at the First United Bank Center.

Colorado Christian rolled to its ninth consecutive win taking a 67-57 decision and will face either Colorado-Colorado Springs or Colorado State-Pueble in the semifinal round Saturday night. Tipoff is set for 5 p.m.

The Mustangs close the season with a 23-7 record bidding adieu to a great senior class including Lisa Hampton, Andrea Carter, Shatoia Gober, Shambreka Jones, Dianna Jones, Janae McJunkins and Taylor Dowd.

The group combined to win more games over a four-year stretch than any other group in program history with 86. The Mustangs advanced to the South Central Regional three consecutive seasons and claimed a Lone Star Conference championship in 2013.

But MSU endured ice cold shooting in the opening half (6-for-22) and by the time the shots starting falling, the Colorado Christian lead had grown to 14 with 10:44 to play.

The Mustangs battled out to an early 8-4 lead after Dowd rattled in a 17-foot jumper just under three minutes into the game, but MSU went 9 1/2 minutes before Shambreka Jones ended the drought with a traditional three-point play.

Colorado Christian pushed the lead out to 12 by opening the second half on a 7-2 run as Christina Whitelaw converted back-to-back layups after Taylor Torres canned a 3-pointer as the Cougars constructed a 39-27.

The Mustangs retaliated with a 7-1 run to cut the lead to 40-34 after Shambreka Jones connected on a pair of free throws with 15:34 to go.

But Colorado Christian's Kate Louthan completed a three-point play to ignite a 10-2 run to pushy the CCU lead back to 14 at 50-36 with 10:44 to play.

Midwestern made one final push on an 8-0 run to pull within 50-44 with 8:55 to go, but the Cougars had another answer to seal the victory.

Dianna Jones paced the MSU attack with 12 points, while Carter notched her 13th double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Shambreka Jones pitched in 10 points and seven rebounds.

Louthan poured in a game-high 21 points to lead the way for Colorado Christian, while Whitelaw flirted with a triple double finishing with 10 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds and six steals.

Colorado Christian improved to 19-13 on the season.