WICHITA FALLS, TX - Midwestern State erased a double-figure deficit in the fourth quarter to pull within a basket in the final seconds, but Texas Woman's hit its final four free throws to come away with a 64-58 win Sunday afternoon at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
Texas Woman's (17-5, 7-3 LSC) claimed its largest advantage of 13 points after a jumper by junior guard Deja Pointer with 3:56 to play in the third quarter. A 9-2 Midwestern State (4-15, 3-6 LSC) run midway through the final period brought the Mustangs within four as sophomore guards Kristin Rydell and Whitney Taylor combined for seven of MSU's points during the spurt to ignite some momentum for the home team.
Missed free throws by the Pioneers helped pull the Mustangs closer in the final stretch as TWU went 1-of-4 from the charity stripe to hold a 60-56 advantage with 49 seconds to play. A fastbreak layup by sophomore guard Krishawn Crockett with 25 seconds remaining brought the Mustangs within two, the closest for the team since trailing 12-10 at the 2:44 mark in the first quarter.
The Mustangs fouled the Pioneers in the waning seconds, but TWU was able to hang on to a lead as sophomore guard Cienna Rodriguez knocked down four-straight freebies to secure the 64-58 victory.
Midwestern got off to a quick start in the opening minutes of the game, taking a 10-3 advantage with a total of four Mustangs contributing early on the offensive end.
The Pioneers offense came alive midway through the period, closing the first quarter on a 15-0 run with seven of those points coming from junior forward Emily Spector, who led the Pioneers with 15 points.
TWU opened up its first double-digit lead with 5:07 to play in the second quarter before the Mustangs closed the gap to pull within three at 26-23. A three-point play by junior guard Kenesha Saygo moved the momentum back to the visitors just before the half as the Pioneers claimed a 33-25 advantage at the break.
Taylor paced the Mustangs with 15 points for her eighth consecutive double-figure scoring performance, matching a career-high three triples. Crockett added 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting while posting a team-high four assists. Rydell also reached double figures, scoring eight of her 10 points in the final frame, while adding five boards in just 13 minutes of action.
Defensively, junior post Jennifer Sissel finished with 10 boards and matched a career-high four steals to lead the Mustangs.
For the Pioneers, Saygo netted 13 points while sophomore forward Alexis Nezianya recorded a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
TWU shot 46.2 percent (22-of-56) for the game, holding a 38-22 edge in points in the paint over the Mustangs, who were held to just 33.3 percent shooting (17-of-60).
Midwestern State returns to action Wednesday as the Mustangs go for a regular season sweep of rival Tarleton State in a 5:30 p.m. tipoff at Wisdom Gym in Stephenville.