Mustangs Drop Hoops Doubleheader in Stephenville

#11 Mustangs Fall 66-65 to Tarleton in Thriller

STEPHENVILLE, TX (KAUZ) - A dunk by junior post Trevor Fuller gave No. 11 Midwestern State a 65-64 lead with eight seconds to play, but Tarleton State senior guard Michael Hardge drove the length of the floor for a layup with three seconds remaining to propel the Texans to a 66-65 victory Wednesday evening at Wisdom Gym.

The loss hands Midwestern State (16-4, 5-3 LSC) its third-straight defeat for the first time since the 2008-09 season when the Mustangs dropped three straight from Nov. 25-Dec. 15.

It was a back-and-forth affair in the final minutes as a putback by senior post Khapri Alston gave the Mustangs a 63-61 advantage with 38 seconds to play. However, Tarleton State (16-5, 5-3 LSC) was awarded three shots at the free-throw line after sophomore guard Deshawn Riddick was fouled on a three-point attempt to give the Texans the lead back at 64-63 before Fuller's dunk.

In the first half, Tarleton snapped a 13-all ballgame with a 5-0 run midway through the period following a Riddick triple and a jumper from senior guard Charles Hill. The Texans extended their lead to seven late in the first period before a three-point play by Alston cut brought the advantage back down to four with 4:22 remaining in the half.

The Texans built their largest lead of the half at 30-22 after a jumper from senior guard Malcolm Hamilton with 2:32 to play in the period. An Alston layup with seven seconds left on the clock made it a 31-27 contest, but Tarleton took a seven-point lead into the break as Riddick connected on his second three-pointer just before the buzzer for a 34-27 score.

Midwestern put together a quick 5-0 run just over a minute into the second half with an Alston layup and a triple from senior guard Jordan Stevens to cut the Tarleton lead to 34-32. Tarleton answered the MSU run with back-to-back three-pointers from Hamilton to build an eight-point advantage.

The Mustangs went on a 15-0 spurt in a span of 4:23 to overcome an eight-point deficit and grab a 55-48 lead following a three-pointer from junior guard Sheldon Hagigal with 7:35 remaining. The Texans began to trim away at the MSU lead over the next several minutes before a layup by junior guard Chantz Chambers put TSU back up 58-57 with less than three minutes to go.

Alston paced the Mustangs with his ninth double-double of the season with 23 points and 10 boards. Stevens (12) and senior guard Bretson McNeal (11) also reached double figures, helping MSU to a 44.2 shooting percentage on the night. The Mustangs shot well from the line, going 14-of-16 (87.5) for the game.

For Tarleton, senior forward EJ Reed led the Texans with 15 points and nine rebounds while Riddick added 11 points. The Texans shot 42.1 percent from the field, firing 8-of-17 (47.1) from behind the arc while struggling from the charity stripe on 10-of-22 shooting (45.5).

Midwestern State returns home Saturday for a 6 p.m. matchup against Texas A&M-Commerce at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.

Mustangs Drop Rivalry Game to TexAnns, 63-49

Tarleton State knocked down 20-of-29 from the free-throw line while holding a 44-29 advantage on the boards to record a 63-49 victory over Midwestern State women's basketball Wednesday night at Wisdom Gym.

Tarleton State (11-9, 5-5 LSC) finished 42 percent from the floor, receiving 25 points from its bench with sophomore guard Tiara Tatum pacing the TexAnns with 13 points. Senior post Breanna Fuller added 12 points and seven boards while junior guard Bailey Wipff contributed 11 points.

Midwestern State (4-16, 3-7 LSC) shot 37 percent and managed just 35.7 percent (5-of-14) from the charity stripe. Sophomore guard Whitney Taylor notched her ninth-straight double-figure scoring performance by matching a career-high 21 points to lead the Mustangs.

The TexAnns built an early lead with their shooting from the free-throw line, knocking down 5-of-6 from the charity stripe to build an 11-4 advantage. The Mustangs cut their deficit down to four after a Taylor basket before Tarleton closed out the period with a 15-7 lead.

The Mustangs defense stifled the TexAnns early in the second period as MSU forced three turnovers with a pair of steals coming from junior guard Jacquar Westbrooks to help the Mustangs come within four at 17-13.

A 10-2 run for the TexAnns gave the home team their first double-digit lead of the contest as a triple by Tatum put TSU ahead 25-15 with 3:19 remaining in the half. The TexAnns managed a double-figure lead the remainder of the period with Tatum draining her second trey just before the buzzer for a 33-20 score at the break.

Sophomore guard Krishawn Crockett sparked an 8-2 MSU run with five-straight points while Taylor capped off the spurt with a corner triple to pull the Mustangs within 39-31 with 6:26 to play in the third.

A jumper by Taylor was the lone basket for the Mustangs in the final six-plus minutes of the third as the TexAnns stretched their lead back up to 15 at 48-33 at the end of the quarter.

The offensive struggles continued for Midwestern in the fourth as back-to-back buckets from junior forward Jennifer Sissel to open the period were the only field goals for the Mustangs through the first 6:43 of the period. The TexAnns built as much as a 20-point lead in the final frame before taking the 63-49 victory.

Midwestern State returns home Saturday for a 4 p.m. contest against Texas A&M-Commerce at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.