WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Midwestern State played a lights-out first half defensively and shot over 50 percent in the second half to cruise to a 66-44 victory over Texas A&M-Kingsville. The Mustangs have won their last three home Lone Star Conference contests to improve to 8-14 overall and 4-8 in league play.
The Mustangs held the Javelinas to four field goals and 17 points in the first half, limiting TAMUK to 12.5 percent shooting. Kingsville did most of its damage from the free throw line, going 8-for-13 before the intermission. Despite the strong defensive performance early, MSU took only a five-point edge into the locker room.
After expanding the lead to nine with 10 minutes to play, MSU put the game out of reach with a 9-0 run over the next two minutes and a 20-7 run to the 2:43 mark, giving the Mustangs a 61-39 advantage.
Midwestern State held the Javelinas to 24.1 percent from the field for the night and 16.0 percent from distance. TAMUK did itself no favors, going 12-of-24 from the free throw line. Conversely, the Mustangs shot 42.6 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from beyond the arc.
Senior guard Devante Pullum led all players with 18 points and six assists. Senior guard Brandon Neel tacked on 15 points and five rebounds while sophomore guard Logan Hicks went for 13 with a trio of daggers from deep. Junior forward Ola Ayodele came up with a game-high 10 rebounds.
Texas A&M-Kingsville's Jacolby Harris led the Javelinas with 13 points and six rebounds. He and Caelan Neal (12 points) combined for nine of the team's 14 makes on the night.
Midwestern State is back in action on Saturday, Feb. 3 against Angelo State at D.L. Ligon Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m.
Senior guard Jasmine Richardson approached a triple-double with 10 points, nine rebounds and six assists while junior forward Chelsea Adams tacked on nine in the second half as Midwestern State flexed past Texas A&M-Kingsville, 66-61.
The Mustangs improve to 11-8 on the season and 8-5 in Lone Star Conference play. MSU is now 6-0 in LSC action at the confines of D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
Senior guard Whitney Taylor drained a trio of three pointers in the first half while MSU had 10 assists on 12 makes in the opening 20 minutes. Richardson handed out four of her six helpers in the first half, adding six points and five rebounds.
It appeared as if the Mustangs would run away with it, closing out the third quarter on a 17-7 run that would have been worse had the Javelinas not knocked down a triple with five seconds left to cut the MSU lead to 10 at 51-41.
Texas A&M-Kingsville rallied with a 16-6 run over six and a half minutes to tie the game at 59 with 2:17 to play on a Victoria Salinas trey. A little under a minute later, Adams worked a foul under the basket and split the free throws to give the Mustangs the lead for good. Senior forward Micheline Mercelita hit a pair of jumpers on back-to-back possessions to stretch the lead to five and put the game on ice.
Adams made 6-of-8 from the charity stripe, including 5-for-6 in the second half to pace the Maroon and Gold with 12 points. Richardson and Mercelita each finished with 10 points.
TAMUK's Angelica Wilson led the Javelinas with 18 points and nine rebounds, going 7-for-11 from the field.
Midwestern State is back in action on Saturday, Feb. 3 against Angelo State at D.L. Ligon Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m.