4 Mustangs named all-LSC, 2 earn academic honors

FILE: Igor Ibaka was named to the All-LSC 3rd team and all-Defensive team / Source: KAUZ
FILE: Igor Ibaka was named to the All-LSC 3rd team and all-Defensive team / Source: KAUZ

Ibaka leads Mustangs on All-LSC team

ALLEN, TX (KAUZ) - Midwestern State junior Igor Ibaka earned third-team All-Lone Star Conference honors Wednesday night at the LSC championship banquet to headline a trio of Mustangs to earn all-league honors.

Ibaka, who was also named to the all-defensive team, was joined by teammates Patrick Smith and Brandon Neel. Both gained honorable mention.

Ibaka ranks second in the LSC and 11th in NCAA Division II with 13 double-doubles. The Brazzaville, Congo native averaged a near double-double during league play at 13.2 points and 9.6 rebounds.

He was the only player in the Lone Star Conference to post a 20-20 effort going for a season-high 28 points while pulling down 20 rebounds in a 108-104 overtime win over Eastern New Mexico on Jan. 14 in Portales.

Ibaka ranks third in the Lone Star Conference pulling down 9.1 rebounds a game while pulling down 10-or-more rebounds in 16 games this season.

Smith, a senior from Houston Jones High School, poured in a career-best 12.2 points per game this season while dishing 3.3 assists and pulling down 3.4 rebounds a game.

The 6-foot guard scored in double figures 18 times this season going for a career-high 28 points at Eastern New Mexico on Jan. 14 then connected on three 3-pointers to finish with 22 points and five rebounds against Angelo State on Feb. 4.

Smith logged his lone collegiate double-double going for 17 points and 10 assists against Western New Mexico earlier this month.

Neel, a junior from Cincinnati, ranked fifth in the LSC scoring 15.9 points per game during league play.

The 6-4 transfer guard from Wright State scored in double figures in 21 of 27 games this season including matching career highs of 22 points against league champ UT-Permian Basin.

Midwestern State opens Lone Star Conference Postseason Tournament play with a quarterfinal matchup against UT-Permian Basin Thursday night at the Allen Event Center. Tipoff is set for 8:30 p.m.

Taylor, Rydell honored by Lone Star Conference

Midwestern State garnered two All-Lone Star Conference awards at the LSC championship banquet Tuesday evening with junior guard Whitney Taylor earning her second-straight All-LSC Honorable Mention selection and junior guard Kristin Rydell being named to the LSC All-Academic Team.

Taylor became just the 14th Mustang in school history to collect multiple All-LSC honors after being named to the honorable mention team for the second-straight season. The Melissa native led Midwestern State in scoring for the second consecutive year with 13.4 points per game to rank 11th in the league. Taylor shot 39.5 percent from the field including a 37.3 percentage from behind the arc with 62 three-pointers to tie for third in the MSU record books for three-pointers in a single season. Taylor's 2.5 threes per game ranked second in the LSC.

Taylor scored in double figures in 20 of her 25 appearances in 2017 while posting five 20-point scoring performances with a season-high 23 points against Cameron on Jan. 17. She recorded multiple three-pointers in 17 games, matching a career-high five triples on three separate occasions.

For her career, Taylor ranks ninth in program history with 109 three-pointers, becoming the fourth-fastest Mustang to reach the century mark on Feb. 11 at West Texas A&M.

Rydell became just the eighth player in MSU history to earn all-academic team honors after being selected to the five-player team carrying a 3.9 cumulative GPA in Nursing.

The Hutto product concluded a strong second season with the Mustangs, ranking second on the team with 9.3 points per game while knocking down 42 three-pointers for the 19th most in a single season at MSU. Rydell matched a school record of seven triples in a win over Texas Wesleyan on Dec. 31, 2016, going 7-of-11 for a career-high 26 points.

Angelo State's senior post Jasmine Prophet collected LSC Player of the Year honors for the second-straight season while also being tabbed the league's defensive player of the year. Texas A&M-Commerce's Jenna Price was named the LSC Freshman of the Year while LSC Newcomer of the Year went to Mackenzie Hailey of Tarleton State. Eastern New Mexico head coach Josh Prock earned the LSC Coach of the Year nod.

Tarleton State's Bailey Wipff was honored as the LSC Academic Player of the Year.

Krtolica earns Academic Player of the Year

Midwestern State's Nemanja Krtolica earned Lone Star Conference Academic Player of the Year honors Wednesday night at the annual postseason pre-tournament banquet.

The 6-8 sophomore forward from Banja Lake, Bosnia maintains a 3.83 grade-point average as a finance major.

Krtolica gained LSC Commissioner's Honor Roll status in each of his three semesters in Wichita Falls and also was on the Provost's Honor Roll last fall at MSU.

The reserve forward has played in each of the Mustangs' 27 games this season averaging 2.5 points and 4.0 rebounds in 12.6 minutes per game. He currently ranks 15th in the LSC in total offensive rebounds.

Krtolica notched a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds -- both campaign highs -- earlier this season against Our Lady of the Lake (Texas).

He is MSU first academic player of the year in men's basketball since Justin James claimed the honor in 2005.

Krtolica is joined on the all-academic team by Texas A&M-Kingsville's Thomas Diaz, Eric Golightly, Jr. and Ryan Quaid of West Texas A&M and Western New Mexico's Emery Range.

To be eligible for LSC academic honors, student-athletes must carry at least a 3.30 grade-point average and have reached sophomore status both athletically and academically.

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