WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - St. Mary's junior Will Ferguson hit a pair of free throws with 2.1 seconds remaining to lift the hot-shooting Rattlers to a 72-70 upset of No. 20 Midwestern State Saturday night in the finale of the Patterson Auto Family Classic at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
The Mustangs, who suffered their first loss of the season to fall to 4-1, compete in the Holiday Inn-Airport Thanksgiving Classic hosted by Colorado Mesa Friday and Saturday in Grand Junction. MSU takes on Western State (Colo.) Friday at 5 p.m. then take on the host Mavericks Saturday at 8 p.m. Both times are Central.
St. Mary's fired in its first eight shots of the game with a barrage of 3-pointers including two from 6-10 sophomore forward Yanni Wetzell and one each by Skyler Brooks and Freddie Williams to take a 20-10 lead five minutes into the game.
Wetzell finished the game hitting 10-of-13 shots with four triples for a game-high 25 points which grabbing six rebounds.
The Rattlers (2-3) continued to hit shots at a high clip connecting on 13 of their first 16 shots, but the lead would grow no larger than 12 points as the Mustangs managed to hang close hitting at 48.5-percent clip before halftime.
True freshman Logan Hicks capped off an 8-0 run late in the opening half by snapping an 0-for-8 run for MSU from the 3-point arc with a 3-ball from the left wing to pull MSU to within 40-38 with 2:34 to go in the opening stanza.
The Mustangs went cold from the arc going 4-for-20 (25 percent) after banging in 44 triples through the first four games of the season.
Midwestern continued to chip away at the deficit finally take its first lead of the night on Nick Powell's driving layup with 48-46 with 14:53 to go.
The exchanged the lead eight times with two ties before St. Mary's used an 7-2 run to forge a 67-59 lead with 5:01 to play.
But Hicks proved to be the catalyst again for MSU cnaning a 3-pointer from the right wing followed by runner down the right side of the lane before Nemanja Krtolica's follow layup with 2:51 pulled the Mustangs to within a point at 67-66 with 2:51 to play.
Hicks followed with a pullup jumper from 12 feet out on the break to give Midwestern its last lead of the contest with 2:11.
Wetzell bombed in his fourth triple of the game from the top of the key before Krtolica battle for a tip-in to knot the game at 70-70 with 1:05 to go.
The Mustangs earned a stop sealed by a Brandon Neel rebound on the next possession, but Hicks' 10-foot jumper from the basline was off the mark leading to St. Mary's run-out in the closing second.
Ferguson drew a foul on a drive with 2.1 seconds netting the winning margin at the free throw line.
UC-Colorado Springs put together a 14-4 run in the second half en route to recording a 61-55 victory over Midwestern State in the Best Western Premiere Pioneer Classic opener at Kitty Magee Arena Saturday afternoon.
UC-Colorado Springs (3-0) began its run in the latter part of the third period with a jumper by Kristen Vigil beginning a 9-4 run before a three-pointer by Jen Vigil closed out the quarter with UCCS holding a five-point advantage at 43-38. A three-point play by Tori Fisher less than two minutes into the fourth quarter capped off the UCCS spurt to take its largest lead of the game at 48-38 with 8:33 remaining.
Midwestern State (2-1) pulled within two at 48-46 with junior guard Whitney Taylor contributing four points in the run. The Mountain Lions stretched their lead back out to seven before a jumper for junior post Avery Queen and a triple for freshman guard Leanna James brought the Mustangs to within a basket with 4:09 to play.
A Queen layup with 2:14 remaining made the score 57-55 in favor of UCCS, but the Mustangs were unable to pull even on the next possession with UCCS holding MSU scoreless in the final two minutes of play.
In the first quarter, UCCS outscored the Mustangs 10-4 in the final 2:59 to take a 16-12 lead after the opening period.
Queen scored 11 points in the second period alone with nine straight coming in a span of 1:46 to help Midwestern erase a three-point deficit and take a 28-24 lead at halftime.