KINGSVILLE, TX (KAUZ) - Junior guard Jasmine Richardson came through for Midwestern State once again Thursday evening as the Corpus Christi native delivered a game-winning layup with 2.9 seconds remaining to lift the Mustangs to a 46-45 win over Texas A&M-Kingsville at the Steinke Center.
After recording nine turnovers and shooting just 11.1 percent from the floor for two points in the third quarter, Midwestern State (6-13, 3-10 LSC) came back to life in the final period with a game-high 19 points on 53.8 percent shooting in the final 10 minutes to register the come-from-behind victory.
Texas A&M-Kingsville (9-10, 4-9 LSC) erased a nine-point halftime deficit -- trailing as many as 12 in the second quarter -- behind 15 points in the third to claim a 31-27 lead heading into the fourth period. The Javelinas stretched their lead as large as 10 points in the opening minutes of the fourth before the Mustangs began their comeback.
A jumper for Jennifer Arbuckle began the MSU run with 7:37 remaining in the contest with Micheline Mercelita adding a pair of free throws and Whitney Taylor converting a three-point play to bring the Mustangs within three at 40-37 with 5:53 to play.
Another Arbuckle basket brought MSU as close as one point midway through the fourth before the Javelinas ended the run with baskets by Meesha Wade and Angelica Wilson for a 44-39 game with 2:05 left.
A Taylor triple and jumper by Mercelita brought the Mustangs back within one with 1:11 remaining. Both teams traded turnovers before a TAMUK missed three gave MSU the ball with 13 seconds to play to set up Richardson's game winner. The Javelinas got off a last-second attempt but the layup was no good by Tee Moore to give the Mustangs the victory.
The layup was Richardson's second game-winning basket under three seconds this season, recording a game winner with 2.6 seconds remaining in a 66-65 road win at Texas Woman's on Jan. 19.
Midwestern State continues its weekend road trip Saturday with a 2 p.m. tipoff against No. 13 Angelo State at the Junell Center in San Angelo.
For the first time since 2008, Texas A&M-Kingsville came out on the winning end against Midwestern State as the Javelinas put together an 11-3 run in the final 41 seconds to stun the Mustangs with a 60-59 victory Thursday night at the Steinke Center.
A dunk by Igor Ibaka with 6:17 remaining began a 10-2 run for Midwestern State (13-8, 6-6 LSC) with Pat Smith connecting on a pair of three-pointers during the spurt to give the Mustangs a 56-49 lead with 44 seconds left on the clock.
Trey Sumpter drained back-to-back triples for the Javelinas, bringing Texas A&M-Kingsville (13-7, 6-5 LSC) within three at 58-55 with 20 seconds to play. Ibaka drained 1-of-2 from the free-throw line before Duan Wright was fouled on a three-point attempt and knocked down all three freebies for a one-point game with 12 seconds remaining.
Midwestern State missed both free throw attempts on its next possession, leading to Derrick Byrd connecting on both free throws with four seconds left to lift the Javelinas to the win.
The Mustangs overcame a 16-point first half deficit with a 14-0 second half run after TAMUK had claimed a 31-15 lead with 2:58 to play in the first half and took a 13-point lead at the half. Midwestern began its spurt on an Ibaka three-point play with 14:13 remaining before taking a 42-41 advantage with 9:29 to play after six-straight points from Magnus Richards for MSU's first lead since 3-2. It was a back-and-forth affair for the remainder of the game until the Mustangs stretched their lead to seven at 56-49 in the final minute.
Ibaka registered his 12th double-double of the season with a team-high 18 points and 13 rebounds. Smith added 15 points and tied a career-high four steals.
Midwestern State concludes its weekend road trip Saturday with a 4 p.m. meeting against Angelo State at the Junell Center in San Angelo.