Mustangs fall to Angelo State in regional semifinals

Midwestern State shot a season low 27.4 percent from the field in a 66-49 loss to 19th-ranked Angelo State in the NCAA Division II South Central Region semifinals Sunday night at Wisdom Gym.

The Mustangs close out their seventh consecutive 20-win campaign with a 22-9 record as MSU advanced to NCAA postseason also for a seventh consecutive season.

"I am proud of this team for being one of the best defensive teams in the country," MSU coach Nelson Haggerty said. "We fell a little short tonight. I am really proud of the way this group has represented our school, program and family."

Seniors Derrell Gibbs, Xavier Blackburn,j Kevin Wagner, Abiodun Adegoke, Tavarion Nix and Thad Rideau played their final games as Mustangs.

"This group has meant everything to me," Gibbs said. "We play every game to win here. We play for each other and as a family. We just came up a little short tonight."

Midwestern scored the first six points of the game and extended the lead out to 10-3 on a McNeal layup with 16:13 to go in the first half.

But the Rams answered with a 9-0 run culminating in a breakaway dunk by Omari Gudul to give Angelo State its first lead of the game at 12-10 with 12:02 remaining in the opening half.

ASU extended the lead to 37-25 at the half as the Mustangs were able to chip back to within in eight points early in the second half on an Xavier Blackburn 3-pointer at 39-31 with 17:19 to play.

The Rams responded with another 10-2 run to push the lead out to 16 on a Demario Mayfield layup with 11:54 to go.

McNeal knocked down two 3-pointers on his way to a team-high 16 points, while Blackburn finished with 12 points and four rebounds.

Senior Chris Jones had 17 points, 10 rebounds and six assists while Mayfield notched 17 points and six rebounds to lead Angelo State.

The Rams (28-5) take on Tarleton State for the South Central Region championship Tuesday night at Wisdom Gym. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.