Mustangs Cruise to Championship Game Over Cameron

ALLEN, TX (KAUZ) - Sheldon Hagigal sat quietly on the bench with a towel draped over his head just moments before the 11th-ranked Midwestern State tipped off against Cameron in the Lone Star Conference Postseason Tournament semifinals at the Allen Event Center.

It was just the quiet before the storm as the junior from Old Westbury, N.Y. erupted for a season-high 22 points and knocked down four 3-pointers to lead the Mustangs to their ninth LSC final appearance with an 88-72 win.

"I had to get my mind right," Hagigal said. "I made sure I was locked in and ready to win, but we have another game tomorrow."

Midwestern takes on Angelo State Saturday afternoon at the Allen Event Center. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m. with the winner likely to earn hosting rights for the 2016 NCAA Division II South Central Regional.

"Ironically, this was probably Sheldon's least selfish game of the year," MSU assistant coach Tres Segler said. "He really gave us a lift tonight."

Hagigal was economical hitting 5-of-7 from the field including four 3-pointers while going 8-of-10 from the charity. All of it came on the heels of a 19-point, 5 3-pointer effort against the same Aggies last weekend in Lawton.

Midwestern surged out to a 20-6 lead spurred on by a pair of 3-pointers by Jordan Stevens with three more by Hagigal, Bretson McNeal and Brandon Golden halfway through the opening frame.

"Our guys came out with great energy as four of our five starters scored in the opening surge," MSU coach Nelson Haggerty said.

Cameron used a 3-2 zone defense to claw back to within two when Cameron Lee hit a driving layup at 31-29 with 2:31 to play in the first half.

But Stevens supplied two more triples during a 13-5 run to close the first half as the Mustangs led 44-34 at the half as his step-back triple from left wing splashed through the net at the buzzer.

Stevens delivered his ninth 20-point effort of the season by finishing 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting with three 3-pointers. The total matched his team-high set Wednesday night against Eastern New Mexico.

"I was trying to take the shots they were giving me," Stevens said. "The shots kept going down and I kinda got into a rhythm."

Midwestern pushed the lead to 20 midway through the second half and never allowed Cameron to come closer than seven as the Mustangs posted their 16th win by at least 10 points.

Senior forward DeVaughn Jones was the only other MSU player in double figures finishing with 11 points and five rebounds while senior forward Khapri Alston narrowly missed his 11th double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds.

Jamaal Brantley had 19 points to pace Cameron which closes the season at 16-12.

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