Florida Southern squeezes past MSU 88-87

Florida Southern squeezes past MSU 88-87

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Jonathan Lawton knocked down a pair of free throws with five seconds remaining to give Florida Southern an 88-87 win over Midwestern State in Saturday night's finale of the Terrace Hotel Thanksgiving Classic at George W. Jenkins Fieldhouse.

It was the second of two narrow losses for the Mustangs at the holiday tournanment after dropping an 88-84 decision to Saint Leo on Friday.

Midwestern appeared to take control of the game when Wanaah Bail's slam dunk gave the Mustangs an 81-71 lead with 2:53 to play.

But after Jack Rauch connected on a pair of charity tosses, back-to-back MSU turnovers in the backcourt led to layups by FSC sophomore guard Brett Hanson. The second was a traditional three-point play to pull the Mocs to within three at 81-78 with 2:02 to go.

Florida Southern continued to applay the backcourt pressure forcing a 10-second call before Lawton drilled the Mocs' loan triple of the second half to knot the score at 81-all with 1:45 to go.

Sophomore Logan Hicks answered with a 3-pointer just 14 seconds later allowing MSU to regain the lead, but Lawton was hit in the act of shooting a 3 on the Mocs' next possession. He hit all three freebies to knot the game for the fourth time at 84-84 with 1:03 to go.

Florida Southern forced yet another turnover in the backcourt which resulted in a putback layup by Rauch to give the Mocs an 86-84 edged with just 32 seconds to go.

Midwestern wasn't done. Senior guard Trey Kennedy buried a 3-ball at the top of the key as the Mustangs regained the lead at 87-86 with 21 seconds to play.

Lawton drew a blocking foul on Florida Southern's next possession to earn two free throws with five seconds to go. He drilled both to give the Mocs a one-point edge.

Kennedy drove the floor, but his half-court flail missed at the buzzer.

Midwestern State fell to 2-5 on the season, while Florida Southern improved to 4-2.

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