WICHITA FALLS, TX - Midwestern State's Khapri Alston garnered second-team All-South Central Region honors as released Monday afternoon by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).
The 6-6 senior from Chicago led MSU to its ninth Lone Star Conference championship and a ninth and eighth consecutive trip to the NCAA postseason tournament with a 24-6 record.
Alston, who was also named a second-team all-region performer by D2CCA/CoSIDA, piled up a conference-best 12 double-doubles while averaging 13.1 points and a league-best 9.6 rebounds per game.
He erupted for career highs of 27 points and 25 rebounds earlier this season against Angelo State. The rebounds are the most of any player in a single game in NCAA scholarship basketball this season and were the sixth highest in program history. The 25 boards were also the most since original Cleveland Cavalier Gary Suiter pulled down 27 against Dallas Baptist during the 1968-69 season.
Alston scored in double figures in 24 games this season while leading the team during LSC play with 14.1 points and 10.4 rebounds in 27.6 minutes per game.
Colorado Mesa's Ryan Stephan, who averaged 26 points and 11 rebounds per game, headlined a group of seven players on the first team. The 6-10, 250-pound center from Lakewood, Colo. earned D2CCA Nation Player of the Year honors earlier in the day.
Joining Stephan on the first team are Angelo State senior guard Tre Bennett (17.0 ppg, 5.0 apg), Fort Lewis junior guard Joshua Blaylock (17.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg), West Texas A&M sophomore guard David Chavlovich (20.5 ppg, 3.6 rpg), Rogers State senior guard J.C. Hartzler (17.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg), Dallas Baptist senior guard Joey Miller (16.7 ppg, 4.3 apg) and Oklahoma Christian junior center John Moon (23.9 ppg, 9.1 rpg).
The second team consists of Alston, Colorado Mines junior guard Gokul Natesan (20.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg), Tarleton State senior forward E.J. Reed (17.4 ppg, 6.7 rpg) and Colorado-Colorado Springs senior forward Alex Welsh (22.9 ppg, 9.7 rpg).
Fort Lewis' Bob Pietrack was named coach of the year leading the Skyhawks to a 28-4 record advancing to the NCAA Division II South Central Region semifinals.
Midwestern State finished with a pair of birdies and an eagle to take the lead while finishing off an exhausting opening round in the Hillcat Classic played at the par-72, 5,959-yard course at the Hillcrest Country Club.
"It was the most challenging round of golf that we've played since we started the program," MSU coach Jeff Ray said. "This golf course is very difficult. Every fairway is tree-lined and every whole is doglegged. The greens were the most undulated we've played in a long time. It was also really tough around the greens and bunkers were deep with really fluffy sand. Put all that together with the wind at 30 miles per hour and it makes for a tough day."
Stroke averages took a real beating with tournament leader Ana Sofia Benavides of St. Edward's marking the only score under 80 firing a 4-under 76, but it was MSU's toughness and strong finish that set the Mustangs apart.
Junior Sierra Campbell logged the tournament's lone eagle on the par-5, 439-yard 18th hole while junior Kellie Martin and sophomore Sarah Moore logged birdies as MSU finished off a total of 332 (+44) for a five-stroke lead over Oklahoma Christian.
"We finished very strong and that is the margin of our lead," Ray said. "I was proud of the girls for concentrating. It was pretty easy to get frustrated and they really didn't do that."
No one depicted the strong will any better than Moore, who was 7-over par five holes into the round before going 2-over over the final 13 holes. She finished off with her lone birdie of the day to pull one stroke out of second place.
"Sarah did a great job of being patient," Ray said. "She did a great job with her short game of giving us a great score."
She was one of four Mustangs in the top 12 as junior Hayley Dambold and Martin stand tied for seventh with an 11-over total of 83 while Campbell is tied for 12th with a 13-over 85.
Freshman May Chimsuti recorded a 17-over 89 to tie for 19th.
"It took a different approach to be successful on this course today," Ray said. "The girls really embraced the challenges. It really tested us mentally and our ability to stay calm."
The final round begins Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. at the Hillcrest Country Club with South winds forecasted at 25-to-35 mph gusting to over 40.
"We're expecting another difficult day tomorrow," Ray said. "We'll put together some strategy tonight, work a game plan tomorrow and hopefully come back with a win."
Hawaii Pacific pushed its unbeaten streak to 12 matches Monday as the second-ranked Sharks swept No. 12 Midwestern State, 9-0, in a neutral site meeting at the Regency Athletic Complex.
Hawaii Pacific (12-0) began with an 8-2 win at No. 1 doubles with Thibaud Berland and Alexander Meyer defeating the 20th-ranked duo of Kyle Davidson and Ramon Toyos to put the Sharks in front early. HPU followed with 8-6 wins on courts two and three for the doubles sweep.
Sporting a pair of top-10 nationally-ranked singles players, the Sharks earned five straight-set singles wins over Midwestern State (6-4) while Torben Otto rallied from a first set loss to defeat Dillon Pineda in a super tiebreaker on court five to complete the sweep.
No. 6 Berland opened up singles with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over 27th-ranked Davidson on court one before No. 8 Jaume Martinez-Vich recorded a 7-6 (4), 6-2 win over Radu Popa at No. 4 singles to clinch the match for the Sharks.
Midwestern State closes out its Denver road trip tomorrow at 3 p.m. as the Mustangs take on host Metro State.
No. 2 Hawaii Pacific 9, No. 12 Midwestern State 0
Mar. 21, 2016 at Denver, Colo. (Regency Athletic Complex)
1. No. 6 Thibaud Berland (HPU) def. No. 27 Kyle Davidson (MSU) 6-1, 6-1
2. Alexander Meyer (HPU) def. No. 39 Ramon Toyos (MSU) 6-1, 6-3
3. Filip Dolezel (HPU) def. Chris Norrie (MSU) 7-6 (7-3), 6-3
4. No. 8 Jaume Martinez-Vich (HPU) def. Radu Popa (MSU) 7-6 (7-4), 6-2
5. Torben Otto (HPU) def. Dillon Pineda (MSU) 4-6, 6-2, 1-0 (10-4)
6. Jakub Hadrava (HPU) def. Benjamin Neander (MSU) 6-2, 6-4
1. Thibaud Berland/Alexander Meyer (HPU) def. No. 20 Kyle Davidson/Ramon Toyos (MSU) 8-2
2. Jaume Martinez-Vich/Filip Dolezel (HPU) def. Zack Santagate/Dillon Pineda (MSU) 8-6
3. Torben Otto/Jakub Hadrava (HPU) def. Chris Norrie/Radu Popa (MSU) 8-6
Midwestern State 6-4; National ranking #12
Hawaii Pacific 12-0; National ranking #2
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (1,4,2,3,5,6)
No. 22 Midwestern State took two of three doubles matches for an early advantage, but No. 9 Hawaii Pacific fought back with a singles sweep to claim a 7-2 win Monday at Metro State's Regency Athletic Complex.
After the fourth-ranked duo of Kristyna Hancarova and Nicole Hoynaski put Hawaii Pacific (11-3) in front 1-0 with an 8-3 win over Eirini Kontaki and Lindsay Nochowicz at No. 1 doubles, the Mustangs came away with two 9-7 victories on courts two and three. The team of Lauren Pineda and Amy Clifton moved to 9-1 on the season with their victory at No. 2 doubles while Maddie Schorlemmer and Greta Lazzarotto improved to 8-2 with a win at No. 3.
Midwestern State (7-3) was unable to hold to the momentum for long as the Sharks claimed four straight-set wins to clinch the match. HPU concluded the match with No. 41 Hoynaski pulling out a 6-2, 3-6, 10-1 win over Kontaki on court two before No. 15 Hancarova defeated 37th-ranked Schorlemmer at the top position, 6-1, 6-4.
The Mustangs conclude action at the Regency Athletic Complex tomorrow as they take on host Metro State at 3 p.m.
No. 9 Hawaii Pacific 7, No. 22 Midwestern State 2
Mar. 21, 2016 at Denver, Colo. (Regency Athletic Complex)
1. No. 15 Kristyna Hancarova (HPU) def. No. 37 Madeline Schorlemmer (MSU) 6-1, 6-4
2. No. 41 Nicole Hoynaski (HPU) def. Eirini Kontaki (MSU) 6-2, 3-6, 1-0 (10-1)
3. Syna Kayser (HPU) def. Greta Lazzarotto (MSU) 7-5, 6-2
4. Oceane Adam (HPU) def. Lauren Pineda (MSU) 6-2, 6-3
5. Lorena Gheorghe (HPU) def. Lindsay Nochowicz (MSU) 6-1, 6-4
6. Julia Sauer (HPU) def. Abby White (MSU) 6-1, 6-3
1. No. 4 Kristyna Hancarova/Nicole Hoynaski (HPU) def. Eirini Kontaki/Lindsay Nochowicz (MSU) 8-3
2. Lauren Pineda/Amy Clifton (MSU) def. Lorena Gheorghe/Syna Kayser (HPU) 9-7
3. Madeline Schorlemmer/Greta Lazzarotto (MSU) def. Oceane Adam/Julia Sauer (HPU) 9-7
Midwestern State 7-3; National ranking #22
Hawaii Pacific 11-3; National ranking #9
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (6,4,5,3,2,1)