Brandon Neel and the Mustnags sting the Rattlers

MSU Men's basketball in the huddle before they took on St. Mary's Monday Night. / Source: KAUZ
MSU Men's basketball in the huddle before they took on St. Mary's Monday Night. / Source: KAUZ

 Midwestern State distributed a season-high 21 assists in a 79-69 win over St. Mary's on Monday evening at D.L. Ligon Coliseum. Four players recorded at least three dimes in the win.
 
The Mustangs and Rattlers played even for the first eight minutes before MSU started to pull away. Tied at 17, the Maroon and Gold strung together a 14-3 run over the next seven minutes to take the lead for good. Although the Rattlers would twice pull within four in the closing minutes of the first half, the Mustangs never relinquished the lead, going into the half with a 38-31 advantage.
 
Both teams exchanged layups out of the break, but the Mustangs were able to convert early and often in the second half, cruising to a 23-point lead with 11:29 to play after an 18-4 run gave MSU a sizable cushion.
 
The Rattlers would pull within five with just over six minutes to play on a 19-4 run, including a three-point barrage from St. Mary's Nikau McCullough, but the Mustangs answered with a 7-0 run to put the game out of reach.
 
Senior guards Brandon Neel and Devante Pullum combined for 48 points on 66.7 percent shooting with 10 rebounds, seven assists, three steals and a block. Junior forward Ola Ayodele matched Pullum with a team-leading five assists.
 
St. Mary's Juwan Green led the Rattlers with 18 points while McCullough went 5-of-9 from beyond the arc.

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