WICHITA FALLS, TX - A 21-2 run less than five minutes into the game set the tone for the 25th-ranked Midwestern State men's basketball team Saturday night as the Mustangs earned their largest Lone Star Conference win in program history with a 110-62 victory over Eastern New Mexico at Greyhound Arena.
Midwestern State's 48-point LSC win over the Greyhounds surpassed the previous record of 45 set earlier this season in a 95-50 victory over Texas A&M Kingsville on Jan. 20 at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
The Mustangs improved to 18-5 on the season and 7-4 in the LSC behind its highest point total since a 127-124 quadruple overtime win over Emporia State on Dec. 20, 2007. The 110 points are the most for the Mustangs on the road and in regulation since scoring 114 at Texas Lutheran on Nov. 17, 1997.
Senior guard Bretson McNeal led five Mustangs in double figures with 22 points in just 24 minutes of action. Senior guard Jordan Stevens also shined for MSU with 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting while totaling a team-high six assists. Senior guard Hershell Grant added 14 points while junior guard Sheldon Hagigal and junior forward Magnus Richards each posted 12 on the night.
The Mustangs opened the game 8-of-13 from the floor while holding the Greyhounds to just 1-of-10 shooting to take a commanding lead in the first 4:46 of the contest.
McNeal and Grant combined for all of MSU's first 13 points of the contest with McNeal draining a pair of triples to score eight points out of the gate. A total of six Mustangs contributed on the offensive end during the 21-2 run with Stevens capping off the early spurt with a jumper at the 15:24 mark.
A trio of threes for Eastern New Mexico (6-17, 2-9 LSC) helped pull the Greyhounds to within 10 as sophomore guard Ladarius Stewart notched eight of ENMU's 10 points during an 11-2 run for a 23-13 game with 12:51 to play.
The Greyhounds trimmed their deficit down to single digits at eight following a tip-in from senior forward Lawrence Domingo before the Mustangs mounted another run.
Grant connected on his second three of the evening to begin a 14-3 stretch for the Mustangs midway through the half. Grant added another basket on the next possession for MSU before Stevens added to the run with five-straight points to push the Midwestern lead to 15 at 35-20.
Midwestern would continue to pull away from the Greyhounds late in the period, taking a 53-28 halftime lead.
The teams went back-and-forth for a majority of the second half until Midwestern stretched its lead even further. A Stevens jumper began a 12-0 run for the Mustangs at the 8:52 mark in the second half as Stevens, Grant and senior forward DeVaughn Jones accounted for all 12 points during the surge to grab a 92-51 advantage with 5:52 remaining.
Midwestern crossed the century mark for the fourth time this season following a McNeal layup with 3:12 to play for a 101-57 lead. A jumper by Hagigal gave the Mustangs their largest lead of the night at 50 with 19 ticks left on the clock before coming away with the 110-62 victory.
The Mustangs finished with a 51.3 percent clip (39-of-76) from the floor for the game while hitting a season-high 61.9 percent (13-of-21) from behind the arc for their ninth game with 10 or more triples.
Domingo led the Greyhounds with 14 points while sophomore guard Kevin Saiz added 11.
Midwestern State next travels to Texas A&M-Kingsville for a 7:30 p.m. Wednesday matchup at the Steinke Center.
Eastern New Mexico used a 25-4 run in the third quarter to record a 76-72 victory over Midwestern State and spoil another 20-point performance from sophomore guard Whitney Taylor Saturday afternoon at Greyhound Arena.
After a Taylor layup gave Midwestern State (4-19, 3-10 LSC) a 50-31 lead with 7:43 to play in the third period, senior guard Sarah Stinnett scored 12 of her game-high 28 points during the Greyhounds' 25-4 run to close out the quarter and take a 56-52 advantage heading into the final period.
Eastern New Mexico (10-13, 5-8 LSC) saw its largest lead of the game come at the 6:44 mark in the fourth following a layup from sophomore post Johna McClelland for a 68-60 score. Senior guard Kathryn Odom scored five of MSU's next seven points from the free-throw line before a Taylor triple knotted the game at 70 apiece with 1:58 to play.
Stinnett responded with a three of her own on the ensuing possession before a layup by senior forward Katie Brown pulled the Mustangs back within one with 46 seconds remaining. Down by two with 23 seconds to play, Midwestern was unable to record the game-tying basket before sophomore guard Jasmine Hotchkins drained a pair of free throws to seal the win for the Greyhounds.
Taylor recorded her third 20-point game of the season on 7-of-13 shooting while matching a career-high three triples. She also posted a team-high eight rebounds as Midwestern held a sizeable 50-27 advantage on the glass and 14-0 edge in second chance points. Junior forward Jennifer Sissel also reached double digits with 11 and seven boards. Odom and sophomore guard Krishawn Crockett each added nine points while Odom dished out seven assists to tie a career high.
After a tight game through a majority of the first quarter, a 9-3 MSU run gave the Mustangs a 25-16 advantage after 10 minutes of play. A jumper from Taylor sparked the run while sophomore guard Kristin Rydell added five-straight points to help the Mustangs shoot 60 percent in the quarter.
A jumper by Sissel gave MSU its first double-digit lead of the game on the opening possession of the second quarter at 27-16. Midwestern pushed its lead to as much as 14 points in the period following a three-pointer from freshman guard Montoria Tripp, helping the Mustangs begin the game 5-of-7 from behind the arc.
A total of 12 first half turnovers prevented the Mustangs from opening up an even larger lead as the Greyhounds capitalized on the MSU miscues with 15 points off 10 turnovers.
Neither team was able to find much luck on the offensive end in the latter part of the second. MSU's final points of the half would come at the 4:15 mark with a layup from Brown while the Greyhounds would be held scoreless the final 3:43.
Stinnett finished 11-of-16 from the floor and was joined by senior guard Jordyn Cooper in double figures with 14 points, helping the Greyhounds shoot 49.2 percent (30-of-61) from the field. ENMU also held a 27-2 edge in fast break points and scored 19 points off 22 MSU turnovers.
Midwestern State finished with a 39.1 shooting percentage (25-of-64) but shot 47.4 percent (9-of-19) from behind the arc to set a new season high in three-pointers made.
The Mustangs continue their road swing Wednesday with a trip to Texas A&M-Kingsville for a 5:30 p.m. tipoff at the Steinke Center.