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Blackburn Masterful, Leads MSU to Seventh Straight Win

Junior forward Xavier Blackburn erupted for a season-high 24 points and pulled down 12 rebounds to lead Midwestern State to a 78-68 win over Angelo State Wednesday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
Junior forward Xavier Blackburn erupted for a season-high 24 points and pulled down 12 rebounds to lead Midwestern State to a 78-68 win over Angelo State Wednesday night at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.

The win clinches no worse than the No. 2-seed for the Mustangs in next month's Lone Star Conference Postseason Tournament by improving to 18-6 on the season and 10-2 in league play by claiming their season-best seventh-straight victory.

The Mustangs remain a game behind league leading Tarleton State, who beat West Texas A&M 81-68 Wednesday night in Stephenville.

"X just had a monster night and gave us some big buckets when we really needed them," MSU coach Nelson Haggerty said. "We've been wearing teams down all year with our depth. I was happy with the way we were able to finish out tonight."

MSU used a 13-0 spurt after Kenny Williams hit a pair of free throws to pull the Rams to within 62-61 with 5:08 to play.

JaMichael Rivers finished consecutive fast-break layups including a traditional three-point play while Monzaigo Williams finished the run with a floater in the lane to give the Mustangs a commanding 75-61 lead with 1:49 to play.

The run broke open a game which featured 12 ties and 15 lead changes as the Mustangs pounded the glass by a 40-24 margin to finally put the game away.

Blackburn was nearly perfect on his way to his sixth double-double of the season connecting on 5-of-8 shots from the field with a 3-pointer while hitting 13-of-14 from the free throw line.

Rivers finished with a season-high 16 points, while Williams finished with 15 points and four assists.

Williams had 18 points and two rebounds to pace the Rams who fell to 16-8 and 6-6.

Midwestern State hits the road to face Texas A&M-Kingsville Saturday at Steinke Center. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m.
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