MSU Basketball Roundup: January 7

Midwestern's Avery Queen during introductions vs UTPB. Source / KAUZ
Midwestern's Avery Queen during introductions vs UTPB. Source / KAUZ

Neel, Pullum each score 22 to lead Mustangs to comeback win over UTPB

 Brandon Neel and Devante Pullum each registered a career-high 22 points to help Midwestern State erase a 20-point first half deficit and record its fourth-straight win in an 80-73 victory over UT Permian Basin Saturday evening at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.

UT Permian Basin (10-4, 2-3 LSC) posted a 22-2 run in a six-minute stretch in the first nine minutes of action as the Falcons knocked down five three-pointers, led by James McPherson's nine points, to take a 27-7 lead with 11:12 to play in the opening half. UTPB's 20-point lead was its largest of the game as Midwestern State (10-4, 3-3 LSC) slowly crept closer to the Falcons before making it a 12-point contest at halftime.

McPherson's fourth triple of the game began the second half before the Mustangs put together a quick 6-0 run to come within single digits at nine for the first time since the 15:38 mark in the first half with 17:45 remaining.

Neel scored eight of MSU's first 12 points in the second half, helping the Maroon and Gold to within eight before a layup for Josh Morris gave the Falcons another double-digit advantage at 55-45 with 15:09 to play.

Three-pointers for Pullum and Pat Smith and a layup for Shawn Nottingham brought MSU within a basket during an 8-0 run midway through the period. UTPB claimed a four-point advantage with 8:57 to play before another 8-0 spurt for the Mustangs propelled MSU to a 65-61 lead.

A trey for Daeshon Francis pulled the Falcons within a point with 6:41 remaining but the Mustangs stretched their lead out to six following a Neel layup with 2:28 left on the clock. UTPB answered back with five-straight points from Josh Lacy for a one-point game before Neel responded with another layup for a 74-71 score with 1:34 remaining.

A Smith jumper and a miss for the Falcons on the other end sealed the win for the Mustangs in the final minute, taking the 80-73 win.

Taylor, Mercelita lead Mustangs in overtime loss to UTPB

 UT Permian Basin erased a nine-point fourth quarter deficit to force overtime before collecting an 82-78 victory to deny Midwestern State its first Lone Star Conference win of the season Saturday afternoon at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.

Midwestern State (3-9, 0-6 LSC) took control of the game in the third quarter, putting together an 11-0 run early in the frame to move ahead by three before taking a 53-50 advantage heading into the fourth.

The Mustangs took their largest lead of the afternoon with 7:54 remaining in regulation at 59-50 with a basket by Jasmine Richardson and three-point play by Micheline Mercelita leading the charge for MSU. UT Permian Basin (5-7, 2-4 LSC) inched closer to the Mustangs in the final minutes with a three-pointer by Sierra LaGrande and two layups by Victoria Lopez pulling the Falcons to within two at 62-60 with 5:08 to play.

Midwestern State was able to hold a slight lead over UTPB until a pair of free throws by Stephanie Verduzco with 1:56 to play evened the contest at 64-all. Whitney Taylor propelled the Mustangs back in front on the ensuing possession with a three-pointer, but the Falcons answered right back with a basket by Niva Taito. Both teams committed turnovers in the final seconds and a last-second shot by MSU fell short to send the game into overtime.

Briana Caro and Jau'nae Peevy helped UTPB open up a six-point advantage on the Mustangs with 1:02 remaining in the extra period following a 6-0 spurt. The Mustangs came within a possession on two separate occasions in the final 30 seconds but a pair of free throws by Victoria Lopez with eight seconds remaining sealed the win for UTPB.

In the first quarter, Taylor and Mercelita helped the Mustangs stretch their lead to six after the first 10 minutes of action with MSU closing the period on a 7-2 run.

UTPB began the second period on a 9-2 run with the Falcons taking the lead at 21-20 following a LaGrande triple. The Falcons extended their lead to as many seven before taking a 35-29 halftime lead.

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