CANYON, TX (KAUZ) - The MSU Mustangs were unable to overcome a strong second half by second-ranked West Texas A&M as MSU lost the clash of the two remaining unbeaten teams in Lone Star Conference, 64-46.
Despite the 18-point setback, the Mustangs held the No. 2 team in check for much of the night. MSU led for much of the early portion of the contest before surrendering the lead for good with just over six minutes to play in the second quarter.
In the second half, Midwestern was limited to 6-of-25 shooting (24.0 percent) and 0-for-8 from beyond the arc. Despite the cold shooting, the Mustangs entered the fourth quarter down just eight at 48-40.
The Mustangs connected on just 2-of-15 shots in the final period, allowing the Lady Buffs to stretch out the lead and close out the game.
Hannah Reynolds paced the MSU offense, putting up 11 points while Jasmine Richardson grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. The Mustangs outrebounded West Texas A&M 40-38, marking just the second time this season WT has been beaten on the glass.
Senior forward Micheline Mercelita scored in double-figures for the fourth-straight game with a 10-point outing against the Lady Buffs.
The loss is the second-straight by MSU which moved to 7-4 on the season and 4-1 in Lone Star Conference play.
Midwestern State remains on the road, traveling to UT Permian Basin on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 in Odessa. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.
Midwestern State was unable to overcome a hot start by 11th-ranked West Texas A&M despite a strong second half in an 83-76 setback at the First United Bank Center in Canyon.
The loss drops MSU to 4-10 on the season and 1-4 in Lone Star Conference action.
After a fast start that saw the Buffs build a 14-3 advantage early in the first half, the Mustangs managed to go into the locker room at halftime down eight at 41-33. The offense was boosted largely by Devante Pullum's 14 points and 71% shooting in the opening period.
MSU started the second half going 6-for-9 from the field and 3-for-3 from deep to briefly take the lead with 16:06 to play, up 49-47.
The second half edge would be short-lived, however. After tying the game at 50 with 14:41 to go, the Mustangs would go cold from the field, going 3:53 without a score, snapped by a Pullum free throw, and almost seven minutes without a basket, snapped by a Wanaah Bail layup.
Both teams went back-and-forth over the final minutes with the Mustangs never able to pull closer than four. A Jordan Collins three with 2:50 to play put the Buffs up 10 and the game essentially out of reach.
Pullum finished with 24 points on 8-of-10 shooting, including going 3-of-4 from deep. Brandon Neel added 16 points, with all but two coming in the second half while Logan Hicks posted 10 points.
Midwestern State remains on the road, traveling to UT Permian Basin on Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 in Odessa. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m.