WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Midwestern State overcame a 15-point deficit midway through the second half, but a jumper by Lamarquis Thompson with 23 seconds remaining lifted Eastern New Mexico to a 72-69 victory inside D.L. Ligon Coliseum Thursday night.
Pat Smith and Brandon Neel combined for 18 of Midwestern State's (13-12, 6-10 LSC) 26 points to help the Mustangs erase a 55-40 hole before a Shawn Nottingham layup with 2:31 to play knotted the game up at 66-all.
Smith gave the Mustangs a 69-68 advantage with 1:32 remaining before Thompson's jumper out of the timeout propelled Eastern New Mexico (11-14, 5-10 LSC) to a 70-69 lead with 23 ticks left. MSU failed to convert on its next possession before Chris Lewis drained a pair of free throws at the line with six seconds remaining to stretch the ENMU lead to 72-69. A last-second three-point attempt then fell short for the Mustangs with former MSU assistant coach Tres Segler and his Greyhounds escaping with the narrow victory.
The Greyhounds opened up a 10-point advantage midway through the opening half with a Lewis layup giving ENMU its first double-digit lead at 21-11 with 9:14 to play before halftime. The Mustangs pulled even with 2:14 remaining in the first with Igor Ibaka scoring nine during a 15-5 MSU spurt for a 28-28 contest before ENMU took a 32-30 lead into the break.
The Greyhounds claimed a 15-point advantage in the first eight minutes of the second half as the Mustangs were held to just three field goals during that span before making a second half run to even the contest late.
Ibaka posted his 13th double-double of the season with 24 points – four shy of his career high – and 10 rebounds and a career-high four blocks. Smith and Neel chipped in 18 points apiece with Smith leading the Mustangs with six assists and three triples.
Midwestern State hosts Western New Mexico in its home finale Saturday for Senior Day with a 4 p.m. matchup at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
Midwestern State erased a 10-point second half deficit before falling just short of an upset to Lone Star Conference leader Eastern New Mexico in a 61-57 setback Thursday evening at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
Eastern New Mexico (19-5, 15-2 LSC) stretched its lead to 42-32 with 5:52 remaining in the third period before the Mustangs put together a 7-0 spurt with scoring contributions from Kristin Rydell and Jennifer Arbuckle. After ENMU claimed a 49-43 lead after three quarters, a Whitney Taylor layup with 8:55 to play in the game capped off a 5-0 run to begin the fourth quarter to bring Midwestern State (7-16, 4-13 LSC) to within a point at 49-48.
An Avery Queen jumper with just under eight minutes to play propelled the Mustangs in front at 52-51 while a Rydell three gave MSU a 55-53 advantage at the 5:09 mark. The Mustangs were held to just one field goal the rest of the way, missing seven of their last eight shots as ENMU closed the game on an 8-2 run. A layup by Mikaehla Connor with 3:21 remaining gave the Greyhounds a lead it would not relinquish before a basket by Eliza Martinez with 20 seconds to play pushed the lead to two possessions before recording the 61-57 win.
In the first quarter, the Mustangs jumped out to an early 5-0 advantage before the Greyhounds answered back with a 6-0 run. The visitors stretched their lead to five in the opening period before the Mustangs closed out the quarter with five-straight points to even the game at 12-all.
ENMU went on a 15-2 run to begin the second quarter, taking its largest lead of the night at 29-17 with 3:50 to play in the half before posting a 36-28 halftime advantage.
Taylor totaled 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting including 3-of-6 from behind the arc to lead the Mustangs. Rydell added 13 points with three triples while Queen finished with 12 points and a career-high eight boards.
Mikaehla Connor led the Greyhounds with 22 points while Daeshi McCants recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Despite the loss, Midwestern State remains in contention for an LSC Tournament berth following a Texas A&M-Kingsville loss to West Texas A&M tonight. The Javelinas still remain two games ahead of MSU with three regular season games remaining.
Midwestern State plays host to Western New Mexico Saturday for Senior Day with a 2 p.m. tipoff at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.