WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Brandon Neel's season-high 19 points led Midwestern State to its first Lone Star Conference win of the season and 19th-straight victory over Texas A&M-Kingsville in a 73-68 triumph Monday evening at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
Devante Pullum scored five of Midwestern State's (8-4, 1-3 LSC) first 10 points of the game to give the Mustangs a 10-4 advantage before the Javelinas knocked down four three-pointers to even the contest at 16-16 midway through the first half.
Caelan Neal and Duan Wright combined for all eight of Texas A&M-Kingsville's (7-4, 0-2 LSC) points in an 8-0 run to break a 21-all contest with 6:38 remaining. The Mustangs cut their deficit in half in the final three minutes of the period with baskets from Magnus Richards and Nick Powell pulling Midwestern to within four at 35-31 at the break.
A three-pointer for Pat Smith with 17:52 remaining gave the Mustangs their first lead in over 13 minutes at 38-36 before the Javelinas answered right back with a pair of triples to claim a four-point lead. TAMUK matched its largest lead of the game at eight midway through the second half following a layup by Christian Bambrook.
Igor Ibaka scored five-straight points to help the Mustangs pull within one of the Javelinas less than two minutes later before he evened the game at 58 apiece following a tip-in with 6:36 to play.
A Richards dunk capped off a 12-0 MSU run to give the Mustangs their largest lead of the game at 66-58 with 3:57 to play. The Javelinas answered with a pair of three-pointers from Trey Sumpter to pull within a basket before Ibaka halted the run with another tip-in for a 68-64 score with 2:48 remaining.
TAMUK came within a possession on two occasions in the final minute but Ibaka and Pullum knocked down free throws to help Midwestern come away with the victory.
Texas A&M-Kingsville converted 25 Midwestern State turnovers into 28 points while holding the Mustangs to a 32.7 percent shooting performance in a 60-47 win Monday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
Whitney Taylor accounted for nearly half of Midwestern State's (2-7, 0-4 LSC) offense on the evening with 20 points on a season-high four three-pointers to record her seventh career 20-point game and first inside Ligon Coliseum.
Texas A&M-Kingsville (7-3, 2-2 LSC) began to pull away in the second quarter after a 13-11 score through the first 10 minutes of action. The Javelinas limited the Mustangs to just seven points on 14.3 percent shooting in the period to claim a 31-18 halftime lead
An 11-0 run capped off by a three-pointer from Kaylee Kana forced an early MSU timeout in the third quarter as the Javelinas took their largest lead of the contest at 42-18 with 7:21 remaining in the period. Midwestern crept closer in the latter stages of the third with Liz Cathcart converting a three-point play and Micheline Mercelita following with a basket to make it a 16-point game with 1:23 left in the period.
The Mustangs pulled within 10 to begin the fourth quarter after back-to-back buckets from Avery Queen for a 47-37 score with 8:53 remaining. A Taylor triple brought MSU within single digits for the first time since the 2:33 mark in the second quarter with just under six minutes to play at 49-40 before TAMUK answered with a 5-0 spurt to extend its lead back to double figures. Midwestern was unable to come closer down the stretch with the Javelinas recording their first win in Wichita Falls since Jan. 27, 2010.