WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Midwestern State's third-period surge keyed a 61-42 exhibition win over Hardin-Simmons Thursday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
MSU connected on 8-of-15 shots and committed two turnovers while outscoring the Cowgirls 24-10 in the third period stretch a one-point halftime lead into a 45-30 advantage heading into the final period.
Senior forward Micheline Mercelita posted a near double-double with 10 points and eight rebounds, while senior Whitney Taylor and junior transfer Chelsea Adams added 10 points of their own.
The Mustangs opened the second half on a 16-2 run spurred by triples by Taylor and Kristen Rydell as the run ended in a flurry. Mercelita converted a layup following Taylor steal in the backcourt before 6-4 freshman Hannah Reynolds put back a missed 3-pointers to push the MSU advantage to 39-24 with 5:34 to go in the third.
Midwestern extended the lead to a game-high 21 when Taylor drained her second 3-pointer of the game to MSU up 52-31 with 7:51 to play.
The Mustangs felt first-half struggles shooting 5-of-26 from the floor (19.2 percent) while turning the ball over 16 times, but were much improved after intermission when MSU hit on 13-of-32 shots (40.6 percent) and committed a total of six turnovers.
Sophomore Mica Schneider connected on a 3-pointer and scored seven points in 18 minutes off of the bench, while Liz Cathcart and Rydell pitched in five points each.
Freshman Kityana Diaz was strong on the defensive end finishing with five rebounds and four steals, while junior Annette Dukes grabbed six rebounds in 11 minutes of floor time.
Freshman Gabby Zullo scored 10 points and pulled down four rebounds to lead Hardin-Simmons.
Midwestern State opens the regular season with the Comfort Inn presents Ashbrook Classic Friday and Saturday at D.L. Ligon Coliseum. The Mustangs take on Colorado Mesa Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. before taking on Oklahoma Christian Saturday at 4.
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