STEPHENVILLE, TX (KAUZ) - A 12-2 run for No. 16 Tarleton State midway through the second half gave the Texans a lead they would not relinquish in a 64-56 win over Midwestern State in the Lone Star Conference opener Thursday evening at Wisdom Gym.
Midwestern State (6-2, 0-1 LSC) erased a 10-point deficit after the Texans took a 17-7 lead at the 9:30 mark in the first period with nine points coming from Brandon Neel, evening the contest at 20-20 with 5:08 remaining. Tarleton State (5-1, 1-0 LSC) responded with a 5-0 spurt in a 34-second span to regain the lead heading into the final media timeout.
A 6-0 run for the Mustangs propelled the Maroon and Gold to a 28-27 lead with 57 seconds remaining, their first lead since the 17:27 mark following a pair of Pat Smith free throws. A monster dunk from Magnus Richards off a feed from Smith just before the buzzer gave the Mustangs a 30-27 lead on the Texans at the half.
The Mustangs took their largest lead of the game in the first four minutes of the second period after layups by Neel, Smith and Devante Pullum gave MSU a 36-27 advantage.
Back-to-back triples for Ridell Camidge pulled Tarleton even with the Mustangs at 47 apiece with 9:50 remaining in the contest before stretching its lead to four following a pair of baskets for Romond Jenkins.
Neel brought the Mustangs within five after Tarleton took a seven-point lead with 3:49 to play but Midwestern was unable to come any closer in the final stretch with the Texans collecting the 64-56 win.
Midwestern State wraps up a four-game road stretch Saturday with a 4 p.m. tip against Texas A&M-Commerce at the A&M-Commerce in Commerce.
A season-high 26 turnovers for Midwestern State and a 15-0 Tarleton State run in the first quarter lifted the TexAnns to a 72-58 win over the Mustangs in the Lone Star Conference opener Thursday evening at Wisdom Gym.
Following a Whitney Taylor basket to begin the game, Tarleton State (2-4, 1-0 LSC) went on a 15-0 run in a 5:40 span with the Mustangs committing eight turnovers and the TexAnns capitalizing with 10 points off the MSU miscues. Liz Cathcart snapped the Midwestern drought with back-to-back baskets to pull Midwestern State (2-4, 0-1 LSC) within nine before Tarleton took an 18-8 lead into the second quarter.
The Mustangs were held scoreless for the first 5:17 of the second quarter until a Taylor free throw ended the drought at the 4:43 mark. A layup by Leanna James with 4:07 remaining in the half ended a 7:50 field goal drought for the Maroon and Gold with James coming away with another basket after a steal and fastbreak jumper on the ensuing play to make it 28-13. A pair of Cathcart baskets helped MSU come within 12 in the final two minutes with Tarleton taking a 34-22 halftime lead.
Taylor netted 13 points in the third quarter but the Mustangs were unable to pull closer in the period with Tarleton stretching its lead to 56-39.
The TexAnns continued to hold at least a 15-point advantage until a pair of Taylor free throws brought Midwestern to within 13 in the final minute.
Taylor recorded a season-high 22 points, the sixth 20-point game of her career. Liz Cathcart joined Taylor in double figures with 10 points, her third double-digit scoring performance of the season, while adding a season-high nine rebounds and three blocks in just 21 minutes to lead MSU.
Midwestern State wraps up a five-game road swing Saturday with a 2 p.m. tipoff against Texas A&M-Commerce at the A&M-Commerce Field House in Commerce.