Taylor sets MSU 3-point record in loss, backcourt leads men to win

Brandon Neel (0) lines up a 3-point shot against Cameron on Tuesday night / Source: KAUZ
Brandon Neel (0) lines up a 3-point shot against Cameron on Tuesday night / Source: KAUZ

Backcourt leads Mustangs to win in regular-season finale

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Midwestern State guards Brandon Neel, Logan Hicks and Devante Pullum combined for 64 of Midwestern State's 80 points as the Mustangs utilized a monster second half to get by Cameron, 80-72.

MSU, which clinched a berth in the Lone Star Conference Postseason Tournament last weekend, can finish the regular season as high as the No. 6 seed if Eastern New Mexico takes care of business on the road against Angelo State and Texas A&M-Kingsville.

Neel finished with a game-high 27, marking the 20th-consecutive game the senior has scored in double-figures and 11th-game with at least 20 points. Hicks added a season-high 20, including 13 in the second half, hitting 3-of-5 from beyond the arc after the intermission. Pullum seemed to find his rhythm late in the game, tacking on 17 points in the win.

Trailing 43-36 with 16:07 to play, the Mustangs mounted a 13-2 run over the next two minutes to take the lead. Hicks drained a pair of threes, sandwiched around a triple from Neel during the stretch to push the lead to four, up 49-45.

An ensuing 12-4 run by the Aggies over a five minute span saw the Aggies up six with 7:27 to play. The Maroon and Gold answered with a superb defensive effort over the next five minutes, holding the Aggies without a field goal during a 12-2 run by MSU, capped off by a Neel tip-in with 2:56 to play gave the Mustangs the lead for good.

Cameron pulled within five on a Tyus Momoh three with 24 seconds to go, but Pullum finished off a three-point play to put the game on ice.

Tyler Williams led the Aggies with 15 points, going 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. Cameron moves to 11-16 overall and 7-11 in LSC play.

Midwestern State is back in action at the Lone Star Conference tournament beginning Thursday, March 1.

Taylor sets MSU career 3-point mark in home finale

Midwestern State senior guard Whitney Taylor made history Tuesday night, etching her name atop the Midwestern State all-time three point list, passing former teammate Lisa Hampton with her 154th and 155th made triples.

The Mustangs were unable to overcome a strong second half by Cameron, leading to a 69-55 setback at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.

Taylor tied Hampton's record at the 9:26 mark in the second quarter, draining a shot from the corner to stretch the MSU lead to 18-14 early.

After battling to a 34-34 draw after the first half, Cameron took the lead for good in the third quarter. Lejha Smith hit a layup at the 6:16 mark to put the Aggies up 40-39 and started a 10-1 run to stretch the advantage to 10, highlighted by a pair of threes from Ava Battese and Parfitt McNair.

The Mustangs would battle back, cutting the deficit to five on a Taylor layup with 9:20 to go, but the Maroon and Gold never got closer as the Aggies put together a 13-5 run over the next five minutes to extend the advantage to 15 in the closing minutes.

With 4:37 to play, Taylor connected on her record-breaking three from the top of the key, cementing her legacy in the Maroon and Gold.

Senior guard Kristin Rydell finished with 12 points to lead the Mustangs, going 5-of-6 from the charity stripe while senior forward Micheline Mercelita finished with nine points and Taylor added eight.

Cameron's Amaka Nwakamma led the Aggies with 17 points and Smith pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds.

Midwestern State fell to 13-12 overall and 10-9 in Lone Star Conference play after a 69-55 setback to Cameron at D.L. Ligon Coliseum. MSU finishes the regular season with a 9-5 record at home.

The Mustangs are back in action on Saturday, Feb. 24 against Texas Woman's in Denton. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. in the regular season finale.

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