Wednesday, March 17, 2010

LSC Roundup 3-17

South Central Basketball Championship
Gholson: Another magical finish for Mustangs

Men’s Basketball: MSU punches ticket to Elite Eight!
WICHITA FALLS, Texas – Midwestern State’s Chris Hagan delivered the game-winner with :58 seconds to go as the Mustangs topped Central Missouri, 60-59, in the NCAA Division II South Central Regional championship game.

The Mustangs advance to the Elite Eight in Springfield, Mass., and will face St. Cloud State, an 84-75 winner over Augustana in the Central Region final, on Wednesday, March 24 at 11 a.m. CST.

MSU led by as many as 14 in the first half and took a 26-19 advantage into halftime. UCM fought back with a 21-1 run that put them ahead by six with 16:09 left in the game. The Mules also had a six-point lead (59-53) with 3:02 to play.

But consecutive lay-ups by Mustang senior Jason Ebie cut the deficit to two, before Hagan added one free throw with 1:35 remaining. A turnover by UCM set-up Hagan’s go-ahead jumper.

The Mules had one more opportunity to win the game but Tremaine Luellen couldn’t get a shot off in time, sparking a celebration in D.L. Ligon Coliseum. MSU advances to its first Elite Eight appearance since joining the Lone Star Conference in 1996.

Senior Craig Green carried the Mustangs in the opening 20 minutes with 13 points and finished with team-high 24. Hagan added 15 points including 13 in the second-half.

The Mules were paced by Sanijay Watts with a game-high 29 points and nine rebounds. Alex Mossmann added 13 points with six assists. MSU avenged a season-ending 80-72 loss to UCM in the 2009 regional final.

South Central Regional All-Tournament Team
MVP – Craig Green, MSU
Jason Ebie, MSU
Chris Hagan, MSU
Sanijay Watts, UCM
Alex Moosmann, UCM

ELITE EIGHT BOUND! No. 3 Midwestern survives Mules, 60-59
WICHITA FALLS, Texas - Chris Hagen hit a driving layup with 58 seconds and No. 3 Midwestern State survived a pair of Tremayne Luellen layup attampts in the final minute to survive the Mules 60-59 in the NCAA Division II South Central Region championship at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.

The Mustangs, who matched a school record with their 31st victory, advance to the
Elite Eight for the first time in school history.

MSU is tentatively set to face St. Cloud State (Minn.) Wednesday morning at 11 a.m. Central Time in the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass.

"I'm extremely happey for our basketball team, for our university and for our community that we were able to win the basketball game tonight," MSU coach Grant McCasland said. "Central Missouri is the best basketball team we played this year and I think we played the best two players we played against this year."

UCM senior Sanijay Watts poured in a team-high 29 points and pulled nine rebounds as the Mules overcame a 14-point deficit midway through the first half to lead by as many as six in the second half.

In the second half, UCM guard Alex Moosmanncanned each of his three treys for the game after being limited to four points in the opening half.

The Mules would carry a six-point lead after Watts canned a pair of free throws to give Central Missouri a 59-53 edge with 3:02 to go.

"We just knew we were going to have to keep fighthing," MSU guard Jason Ebie said. "We knew it was the championship game. Every team that's here, we know they're good and they are here for a reason."

The Mustangs jumped back quickly with a pair of Ebie layups before Hagan hit the back end of a two-shot foul before he canned a runner with 58 seconds to remaining to give MSU a 60-59 lead.

Luellen missed a wide open layup, then was unable to get off a shot after going the lenght of the floor in six seconds. Hagan added 15 points, four rebounds and four assists for the Mustangs. Midwestern State improved to 31-2 while Central Missouri finshed the season at 27-4.

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