They say that all good things must come to an end.
They said right.
The top defense in the country and two big shots by Corin Henry in the final 87 seconds brought Midwestern State's 41-game home win streak to a screeching halt Monday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
Tarleton State held MSU to its lowest point total in 11 years in a 49-47 win to clinch the top seed out of the Lone Star Conference South Division in the postseason tournament next week in Bartlesville, Okla.
Henry fired in a 3 to tie the game with 1:27 to play and then drilled a 17-footer to win it with just 19 seconds remaining. The Mustangs never got a shot off after Henry hit the 3.
The No. 25 Texans improved to 20-4 overall and 11-1 in the LSC South. MSU lost its second straight to fall to 19-7 and 7-5 and is now in a four-way tie for second place with West Texas A&M, Angelo State and Eastern New Mexico.
Tarleton wins South outright, snaps MSU's 41-game home win streak
By BRAD KEITH
What "Dome Magic?"
The only thing magic about Tarleton State's (20-4, 11-1) trip to D.L. Ligon Coliseum in Wichita Falls Monday night was the Texans winning their seventh straight to clinch the outright championship in the South Division of the Lone Star Conference.
In the process, they happened to also break Midwestern's 41-game home win streak, handing the Mustangs their first loss at Ligon Coliseum since the 2008-09 season opener against Dallas Baptist.
Senior point guard Corin Henry hit a 3-point basket to tie the game with 1:28 left, stole the ball from Midwestern standout Chris Hagan with 46 seconds remaining then hit the game-winning jumper with 19 ticks on the clock.
Midwestern had one final chance, but after its final possession stalled and the Mustangs called a timeout, their inbound pass with three seconds left was stolen by Carrington Tankson.
Henry missed much of the contest with foul trouble and had only five points when he returned to the court with four fouls at the 5:36 mark. He doubled his point total in the final 90 seconds, finishing with a
team-high 10 to go with six assists and three steals in just 24 minutes.
Tankson also starred in the final minutes after struggling the majority of the night. The junior guard had just four points until hitting a pair of free throws to pull the Texans within two at 43-41 with 4:41 left. He then
buried a 3-ball on the Texans' next possession, putting them up one with 4:02 to go.
Midwestern scored the next four points on a jumper by Michael Loyd and a layup by David Terrell, but Henry finished the game with his personal 5-0 run for Tarleton.
Tankson finished with nine points and four steals while forwards Nick Mosley and Wes Dipprey each scored eight.
Midwestern was led by Michael Loyd with 20 points, but the real story was Chris Hagan being held to six. In two games against Tarleton this season, Hagan averages just 8.5 points. He averages 22.7 against all other
The Texans, who have won 12 of their last 13 and were ranked No. 25 in last week's Division II coaches poll, held MSU to 39.1 percent shooting from the floor. The Mustangs entered the contest shooting 50 percent for the season.
Tarleton leads the nation in scoring defense, surrendering just 52.0 points per game. That number has been steadily falling over the last three contests when they held West Texas A&M to 42 points, Texas A&M-Kingsville to just 37 and Midwestern to 47. It was the Mustangs' lowest scoring output in 11 years.
The divisional title is Tarleton's fifth since joining the LSC in 1994-95. The Texans won three straight divisional crown from 2002-04 before picking up their fourth in 2006.
The Texans' final home game is set for 8 p.m. Wednesday against Abilene Christian. They are currently 14-0 inside Wisdom Gym this season, and will be looking to complete a perfect home record for only the second time in school history after going 16-0 in 2005-06.
Tarleton closes out its regular season at Angelo State at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Midwestern, meanwhile, finds itself in a four-way tie for second place in the South, and only three of those teams will be joining Tarleton in Bartlesville for next week's LSC Championship.
The Mustangs - who are tied with West Texas A&M, Eastern New Mexico and Angelo State - host ASU Wednesday and visit Abilene Christian Saturday.
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LSC Men's Basketball Tourney Outlook
With two games remaining, the men's divisional champions have been decided. Central Oklahoma and Tarleton have taken the 2011 titles and will be the top seeds when the LSC tournament bracket is drawn up. After that, it gets a little murky.
In the North, Texas A&M Commerce has clinched a spot in the tourney, but could be anywhere from the #2 to #4 team from the North. The #2 slot is likely, as they close out the regular season with a home contest against East Central. Cameron and Southwestern State are tied for the #3 slot with 6-4 divisional records. They each close with Northeastern State and Central Oklahoma. Cameron faces NSU on the road and hosts UCO, while SWO travels to UCO and hosts NSU in the season finale. NSU lurks just behind them in the #5 slot with a 4-6 divisional record and one more loss (or one more win by CU and SWO) will end their season.
In the South, its even tighter. After Tarleton, there are 4 teams tied for the 2nd slot with 7-5 records. Midwestern State hosts Angelo State and travels to ACU, West Texas A&M hosts Incarnate Word and travels to Eastern New Mexico, ENMU will travel to TAMK before hosting WTAM, and Angelo State has the toughest slate with a trip to Midwestern State followed by a home game against Tarleton State. Incarnate Word is on the outside looking in, two games back, and with a road trip to WTAM and a home game against TAMK to close out their season.
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