Mustangs take down No. 2 Tarleton State in OT

- Midwestern State senior guard Monzaigo Williams was looking to make amends after slipping on his way to the basket in the closing seconds earlier this season against Tarleton State.

Not this time. Not this Wednesday night.

Williams buried an 18-footer with 3.8 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Mustangs a 77-75 win sending the rival Texans to their first loss of the season while snapping TSU's 20-game winning streak at Wisdom Gym.

"He took ownership of it and made a great shot," MSU coach Nelson Haggerty said. "It was a great play by a big time player. He started the game with two big 3s and was just amped up."

Williams finished with 18 points -- scoring 13 of those in the opening -- but he was more than willing to finish what he started in giving the Mustangs' their second straight overtime win to improve to 14-6 on the season while going to 6-2 in LSC play.

"We came out and it was back-and-forth early. Both teams came with great energy," Haggerty said. "All games seem like classics and this was just another one. It was play after play after play being made by both ball teams."

Junior forward Xavier Blackburn proved to be a different maker for MSU notching his fourth double-double of the season finishing with 17 points while pulling down 14 rebounds.

His efforts proved key in the Mustangs' controlling a commanding 51-33 edge on the glass resulting in a 17-5 advantage in second-chance points.

The Mustangs took control of the game with an 8-1 run near the end of the first half as DeVaughn Jones and Williams converted consecutive Texans' turnovers into layup for a 7-point lead as MSU stretch it to nine at halftime.

All the while, the Mustangs battled their way through a constant whistle as MSU finished the night with 32 fouls to Tarleton's 19.

But the Texans failed to take full advantage of opportunities hitting just 27 of their 44 attempts from the charity stripe (61.4 percent).

Still, Tarleton battled back to tie the game on Chuck Guy's first triple of the game with 14:09 to play set the score at 46-all.

The Texans finally took their first lead of the second half after Guy followed a Tashawn Mabry trifecta with a free throw for a 63-62 advantage with 2:18 to play.

Then TSU's Damion Clemons connected on a pair on a pair of free throws with 49 seconds remaining in regulation as the Texans carried a 65-63 lead into the closing seconds.

But MSU senior DeJuan Plummer hit a driving layup with a foul with 37 seconds left, but failed to converted the three-point play giving the Texans' the ball on the final possession with the game tied.

However, De'Andre Upchurch's floater at the buzzer was off the mark to send the game to overtime.

The teams exchanged five buckets and one stop each in the extra period before Williams hit the game winning with seconds remaining.

"Those were two teams slugging away in the overtime. You felt like if you could just get a couple of stops that you could come away with the win," Haggerty said. "We were able to do that late in the overtime."

Upchurch finished with 21 points to pace the Texans who fell to 18-1 and 7-1.

It was the second time in MSU history that the Mustangs took down NCAA Division II's No. 2-ranked team as the Mustangs defeated No. 2 Sam Houston State 81-72 on Feb. 8, 1986. Midwestern improved to 6-4 against nationally ranked opposition in the Haggerty era.

MSU plays host to Texas A&M-Commerce Saturday afternoon at D.L. Ligon Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m.

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