WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Midwestern State was unable to overcome a hot shooting performance by No. 8 West Texas A&M in an 87-58 loss on Saturday at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
The Buffs hit 16-of-32 three pointers and went 19-of-21 from the free throw line while shooting 43.3 percent from the field.
The game was back-and-forth through the first 14 minutes with both teams going blow-for-blow offensively. Up 30-26 with six minutes to play, WT closed the first half on a 22-5 run, hitting five three pointers and converting a shooting foul on another trey to take a 54-31 lead into the break, capped by a CJ Jennings triple at the buzzer.
In the second half, MSU pulled with 20 once on a Trey Kennedy bucket and free throw at the 16:44 mark, but the Buffs progressively expanded the lead to cruise to the victory.
Senior guard Brandon Neel led MSU with 17 points while senior forward Josh Huntley had 12. Junior forward Ola Ayodele grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Mustangs.
Jordan Evans led the Buffs with 19 points.
Midwestern State was unable to overcome a 29-point second quarter despite outscoring 25th-ranked West Texas A&M in the second half Saturday afternoon at D.L. Ligon Coliseum as the Lady Buffs held on for a 78-67 decision.
West Texas A&M built a 49-30 advantage at the half, dominating the battle inside. The Mustangs were outrebounded 23-11 in the opening 20 minutes and gave up 20 points in the paint, including being outscored inside 10-4 in the first quarter.
Miscues haunted MSU as well in the first half. The Mustangs committed 11 turnovers that the Lady Buffs turned into 14 points.
Junior forward Chelsea Adams and senior guard Jasmine Richardson scored eight and seven points in the second half, respectively, going a combined 13-of-14 from the free throw line. MSU shot 23 second half free throws, going 82.6 percent from the charity stripe, allowing the Mustangs to close the gap.
Trailing 68-48 with 7:32 to play, the Maroon and Gold mounted a 16-5 run over the next five and a half minutes to pull within eight. Over that stretch, MSU went 7-for-7 from the free throw line and finished a perfect 11-for-11 in the quarter. Richardson scored eight points during the run and sophomore guard Mica Schneider tallied five.
MSU couldn't close the gap any further as WT went 5-for-6 from the free throw line in the final 1:25 to prevent the comeback from the Mustangs.
Senior forward Micheline Mercelita posted her second-straight double-double and seventh of the season, leading the Mustangs with 16 points and 13 rebounds, including nine boards in the second half. Adams finished with 12 points and Richardson added 11.
WT's Lexy Hightower led the Lady Buffs with 27, going 5-for-8 from distance.