MSU ends 8-game skid against WT in OT

The Midwestern State men’s basketball team has seen its share of struggles in recent years. Everyone involved with the program hopes Thursday night was the beginning of a return to dominance for the Mustangs.

MSU ended an eight-game losing streak against No. 12 West Texas A&M with a 100-90 overtime victory in front of a raucous 1,027 fans inside D.L. Ligon Coliseum.

The win simultaneously ended a long losing streak to rival WT and a seven-game losing skid against ranked opposition.

“When you play in the Lone Star Conference, you’re going to play a lot of ranked teams,” MSU coach Justin Leslie said on the MSU digital network. “We didn’t let West Texas dictate how the game was played. We went out there tonight and were the aggressors on both ends of the floor, and we should do that every night. A lot of it is these young men getting confidence in themselves.”

The second half turned into a showdown between Pierre Sanders of MSU and Zach Toussaint of WT. Touissant posted a game-high 36 points while hitting 7 of 11 shots from well beyond the 3-point line while Sanders nearly had a triple-double posting 21 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists.

“In my wildest dreams, I wouldn’t have anticipated that Zach Toussaint would’ve put on a display like that late in the second half,” Leslie said. “We kept rotating through the same three plays that got us to the same spot on the floor for the last 25 minutes of the game. The guys started understanding that we’ll score more if we share the ball more. Pierre kept getting to the right spot, and we ended up with 20 assists on 33 made shots and that’s what I want out of my teams.”

The Mustangs are scheduled to meet another rival on Saturday afternoon when Cameron visits to renew the Red River Rivalry. The game is set to begin at 4 p.m.

Midwestern State 100, No. 12 West Texas A&M 90

WEST TEXAS A&M (17-4, 4-3)

Jesse Iweze 0-1 0-0 0; Julius Brown 9-15 1-2 21; Kavon Booker 3-4 3-8 9; Zach Toussaint 11-19 7-7 36; Larry Wise 5-19 2-2 12; Torian Harris 0-0 0-0 0; Dalin Williams 1-1 0-0 2; Hayden Blankley 0-1 1-2 1; Cameron Bell 1-2 0-0 3; Austin Shelley 0-1 0-0 0; Addison Wallace 2-6 1-3 6. Totals 32-69 15-24 90.

MIDWESTERN STATE (7-12, 3-4)

Jordan Teal 0-1 0-0 0; Jalin Brown 4-7 1-2 10; Terrell Wilson 6-11 2-2 17; Jermane Carter 7-15 3-5 21; Pierre Sanders 6-9 8-9 21; Jamey Sanders 2-3 2-3 8; Amaechi Chukwu 4-5 0-0 8; John Weger 1-3 4-4 6; Luke Hamilton 3-6 0-0 9. Totals 33-60 20-25 100.Halftime score — MSU 39, WT 36. 3-Point Goals — WT 11-27 (Brown 2-4, Toussaint 7-11, Wise 0-7, Blankley 0-1, Bell 1-1, Shelley 0-1, Wallace 1-2); MSU 14-26 (Brown 1-4, Wilson 3-5, Carter 4-6, P. Sanders 1-2, J. Sanders 2-2, Weger 0-1, Hamilton 3-6). Fouled Out — WT (None); MSU (Chukwu). Rebounds — WT 29 (Booker 8); MSU 44 (Wilson, P. Sanders 9). Assists — WT 8 (Brown 3); MSU 20 (P. Sanders 8). Total Fouls — WT 20, MSU 18. Technicals — WT (None); MSU (None). A — 1027.