Neel leads Mustangs past SAGU in home opener

Brandon Neel's 27 points led the Mustangs to a win in their home opener / Source: KAUZ
Brandon Neel's 27 points led the Mustangs to a win in their home opener / Source: KAUZ

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Brandon Neel continued his red hot play by pouring in a game-high 27 points in lead Midwestern State to its second straight victory rolling past Southwestern Assemblies of God 96-72 Tuesday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.

The senior guard from Cincinnati needed just 22 minutes of court time to connect on 11-of-15 shots including a 3-pointer, while going 4-for-4 from the charity stripe.

It is his third straight game with at least 26 points as Neel went for 26 points and 10 rebounds against Colorado Mesa before erupting for a season-high 30 points and six rebounds in a double overtime victory over Western State (Colo.) last weekend at the Comfort Inn Classic in Gunnison.

Neel is shooting 59.7 percent from the field over the past four games since struggling to 1-of-9 shooting in the season opener against Arkansas-Fort Smith.

He had plenty of help from his teammates Tuesday night as sophomore Romello Walker connected on 7-of-10 shots with a 3-pointer to score 16 points while sophomore Logan Hicks tallied 12 with two triples before exiting game after 18 minutes.

Senior forward Josh Huntley notched his first double-double for the Maroon & Gold with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Midwestern turned pressure defense into solid scoring chances throughout the night as the Mustangs turned 29 SAGU miscues into 42 points. Six different MSU players finished the night with three steals including Neel, Hicks and Walker along with Devante Pullum, Trey Kennedy and Nemanja Krtolica.

The Mustangs pushed out to a double-digit lead when Walker buried a baseline jumper to complete an 11-2 run for a 19-7 lead at the 11:54 mark of the first half. MSU grew the lead to 24 in the opening half and led by as many as 31 after halftime.

Lance Tipton dropped in 18 points and banged in four 3-pointers to lead the Lions, which remaining at 5-0 after counting the game as an exhibition.

Midwestern State improved to 2-3. The Mustangs compete in the Terrace Hotel Thanksgiving Classic this weekend in Lakeland Fla. The Mustangs take on Saint Leo (Fla.) Friday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. (Central) before closing the classic against host Florida Southern Saturday at 6:30 p.m. (Central). Both games will be played FSC's George W. Jenkins Field House.

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