WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Junior guard Devante Pullum poured in a career-high 21 points while dishing out a season-best nine assists to lead Midwestern State to its second win over a nationally-ranked opponent this season with an 84-78 victory over No. 11 West Texas A&M in front of 1,049 fans Thursday evening at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
Neither team took more than a five-point lead in the first half of play with West Texas A&M (15-2, 3-1 LSC) recording its largest lead of the night at 16-11 with 12:07 to play in the opening period after a three-pointer from Jordan Evans.
Midwestern State (9-4, 2-3 LSC) used an 8-2 run to grab a 22-20 advantage with 6:35 remaining in the first following a fastbreak slam from junior guard Brandon Neel to help the Mustangs claim their first lead in eight minutes of action.
The Mustangs posted their largest lead of the half at 30-25 with 2:35 to play following a jumper in the paint by junior forward Nick Powell before the Buffs answered with a 6-1 run to even the game in the final minute of the period. A Neel triple with 32 seconds to play in the half gave MSU a 34-31 advantage heading into the break.
Five different Mustangs scored in a 14-8 MSU run to open the second half with a Neel jumper giving the Maroon and Gold a 48-39 advantage with 14:45 left on the clock.
WT answered with a quick 9-0 spurt in 2:10 with a three-pointer by David Chavlovich evening the contest at 48 apiece.
It was a tight game for the next six minutes of play until a Neel layup gave Midwestern a seven-point edge at 63-56 with 5:48 remaining. Pullum scored 17 of his team-high 21 points in the final 11:18, helping the Mustangs stretch their lead to as many as nine on four different occasions down the stretch.
Three-pointers for Chavlovich and Carl White helped WT put together a late push in the final two minutes of action, coming as close as three with 40 seconds to play. However, Pullum drained 7-of-8 from the charity stripe in the final 1:24 to help the Mustangs secure an 84-78 win. West Texas A&M was handed its first loss since Nov. 17, 2016, snapping a 10-game win streak for the Buffs.
Igor Ibaka recorded a double-double for the fourth-straight game and sixth time this season with 13 points and 13 rebounds, tying a season high on the glass. Magnus Richards just missed out on a double-double, finishing with 13 points and nine rebounds for the second-straight game.
Midwestern State closes out its homestand Saturday with a 4 p.m. matchup against UT Permian Basin at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
West Texas A&M shot 53.6 percent from the field while outscoring Midwestern State 50-31 in the second half to record a 79-53 victory over the Mustangs Thursday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
West Texas A&M (10-4, 3-2 LSC) used a 7-0 run midway in the second quarter to break a 14-14 tie after the end of the first period. The Lady Buffs stretched their lead to as many as nine in the second quarter before taking a 29-22 lead at the break.
Midwestern State (3-8, 0-5 LSC) recorded its largest lead of the night late in the first period at 9-4 before Lady Buffs evened the contest at 9-all.
A three-pointer by Alie Decker gave WT its first double-digit lead of the night with 8:32 remaining in the third quarter at 34-24 as the Lady Buffs extended their lead to as much as 20 points midway through the frame following a 19-6 run to begin the half. The Mustangs inched back to within 14 late in the period with Kristin Rydell scoring seven of her team-best 15 points in the third.
Whitney Taylor notched double figures for the eighth time with 10 points on the night.
West Texas A&M shot 70 percent from the floor in the fourth period, taking its largest lead of the contest in the final minute to earn the 79-53 victory.
Midwestern State closes out its homestand Saturday with a 2 p.m. tipoff against UT Permian Basin at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.