MSU Men Win, Women Fall in LSC Openers

#6/2 Mustangs Rally for LSC-Opening Win

Senior post Khapri Alston recorded his sixth double-double of the season with 18 points and 13 rebounds, and junior guard Sheldon Hagigal netted a season-high 17 points, as No. 6/2 Midwestern State earned a 74-65 victory over West Texas A&M in the Lone Star Conference opener Wednesday evening at First United Bank Center in Canyon, Texas.

Midwestern State (12-1, 1-0 LSC) overcame 19 turnovers by shooting 50 percent (24-of-48) from the floor while holding West Texas A&M (11-6, 0-2 LSC) to a 35.3 percentage (24-of-68).

Turnovers hurt the Mustangs throughout the opening 20 minutes of action with MSU committing 13 miscues. However, MSU was able to hang close with the home team, shooting 40.0 percent (10-of-25) in the opening period.

West Texas A&M connected on 53.3 percent (8-of-15) from behind the arc in the first half for most of the period.

WT opened up a tight contest midway through the first half after sophomore guard David Chavlovich netted five-straight points, capping off the run with a three-pointer to give the Buffs a 17-11 lead with 13:15 to play in the period.

WT pushed its lead to as many as nine points after another Chavlovich triple midway through the half, before back-to-back three-pointers from junior guards Pat Smith and Sheldon Hagigal brought the Mustangs within three at 24-21 with 7:59 to play.

The Buffs stretched their lead to seven once again before taking a 36-31 lead into halftime.

An 11-0 run early in the second period gave the Mustangs their first lead since the 17:15 mark in the first half. MSU received offensive contributions from four different Mustangs during the spurt with senior forward DeVaughn Jones capping off the run with a jumper for a 45-41 lead with 14:20 remaining.

A layup by WT senior guard Jeff Bonner evened the contest up at 49-all with 9:26 remaining in the game after the Mustangs held a lead for nearly a six-minute stretch.

Momentum switched to the home team a few minutes later as WT took a 57-52 lead with 6:35 to play after back-to-back three-pointers from sophomore guard Jordan Evans.

However, the Mustangs answered with their second 11-0 spurt as a pair of free throws by senior guard Bretson McNeal put MSU on top 63-57 with 3:39 remaining in the game.

MSU only allowed the Buffs to get back within three the rest of the way before recording the 74-65 victory.

Alston also matched a season-high three blocks along with his 13 rebounds. Hagigal finished 6-of-7 from the field including 2-of-2 from long range. McNeal also reached double figures for the 10th time this season with 10 points.

Evans led the Buffs with 20 points, shooting 6-of-12 from three-point range.

Midwestern State returns Saturday to D.L. Ligon Coliseum for a 6 p.m. tipoff against Eastern New Mexico in the Mustangs' Lone Star Conference home opener.

Mustangs Hang Tough Before Succumbing to #1 Lady Buffs

No.1-ranked West Texas A&M fended off several Midwestern State rallies to earn an 85-68 victory over a feisty Mustangs squad Wednesday evening at First United Bank Center.

West Texas A&M (13-0, 2-0 LSC) owned a 44-22 advantage inside the paint while holding an 18-9 edge in points off turnovers to remain perfect on the season. The Lady Buffs shot 48.3 percent (28-of-58) from the floor on the night while Midwestern State (1-11, 0-2 LSC) finished with a 37.5 percentage (21-of-56).

West Texas A&M used a 14-0 run to claim a 17-4 advantage midway through the first quarter before a jumper by junior post Jennifer Sissel ended the Lady Buffs spurt.

Facing a 25-9 deficit heading into the second quarter, Midwestern State began the period on a 10-2 run sparked by five-straight points from sophomore guard Kristin Rydell.

After Rydell knocked down a pair of free throws and drained a three-pointer, freshman forward Kendriana Washington recorded the next five points to cap off the MSU run. Washington pulled down an offensive rebound and put it back up for two to bring the Mustangs back within 10 at 26-16. Washington continued her aggressive play on the next possession, going by 6-4 Lilley Vander Zee for a three-point play to make the score 27-19 with 8:18 to play in the half.

Rydell brought the Mustangs within seven at 33-26 with her second triple of the evening, but MSU was held without a field goal the final 4:33 of the half as WT took a 44-29 lead into the locker room.

MSU refused to go away quietly in the third quarter, trimming the WT lead down to nine after a Washington jumper with 4:26 to play in the period.

The Lady Buffs ended the momentum for the Maroon and Gold with an 11-0 run to end the third quarter, receiving seven points from sophomore guard Hannah Alexander for a 61-41 advantage after three.

A basket by freshman post McKenna Villegas followed by five-straight points from sophomore guard Whitney Taylor pulled the Mustangs within 16 at 71-55 with 5:21 remaining in the contest.

MSU cut the deficit back to single digits following a three-pointer from senior guard Kathryn Odom with two minutes to play, but the Mustangs rally was too late with the Lady Buffs recording an 85-68 win.

Washington led the Mustangs with 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting and a team-best three steals. Sissel matched a career-high 12 points while Taylor also reached double figures with 10 points and tied a team-high three assists.

Watson led the Lady Buffs with 17 points, shooting 11-of-13 from the free-throw line.
Midwestern State hosts Eastern New Mexico in its Lone Star Conference home opener Saturday at 4 p.m. at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.