Red River Rivalry ends in thrillers

Lauren Roberts

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The men and women’s basketball teams both edged out Red River rival Cameron University with close finishes, including an overtime victory for the men, but both games had the packed D.L. Ligon Coliseum audience members holding their breath until the end.

Men’s

Monzaigo Williams, senior in socail work, gets around the Cameron University defense to score Saturday night. The game went into overtime where MSU defeated Cameron 70-67. Photo by: Lauren Roberts

Monzaigo Williams, senior in social work, gets around the Cameron University defense to score Saturday night. The game went into overtime where MSU defeated Cameron 70-67. Photo by: Lauren Roberts

The men played first in a televised conference game, but the team had some first-half jitters as MSU’s players  just couldn’t get a shot to go in. Despite 17 offensive rebounds, only four resulted in a score.

The free throw line wasn’t much better with only three shots made of ten. By half-time the Mustang men were down 16 points.

The MSU men flipped a switch in the second half as they increased their free throw percentage to 85.7 percent, up from 30 percent in the first half.

Head Men’s Basketball Coach Nelson Haggerty said,”We battled through adversity. The first half was our worst shooting half of the year. We weren’t playing very well defensively either.”

With 27 seconds left on the clock MSU tied the Aggies 57-57 before gaining a three point lead with just nine seconds left to play. It looked like a victory for Midwestern until a three-pointer from the Cameron Aggies tied the game, sending it into overtime.

Despite the tie, MSU had all the momentum going into the extra minutes, scoring first and keeping the lead until the end, defeating the Red River rivals 70-67.

Haggerty said,”To be able to get together and fight though that and still find a way to beat a really good team says a lot.”

Women’s 

In the second game of the night the women took the lead and dominated Cameron for the entire first half. Shots were falling in and the aggressive defense refused to let the Aggies into the game, leading them to commit 14 personal fouls allowing MSU to make nine of 14 free throws.

Andrea Carter, junior in math makes the contested shot against Cameron University. MSU would defeat Cameron 70-69 Feb. 1 in D.L. Ligon Coliseum. Photo by: Lauren Roberts

Andrea Carter, junior in math makes the contested shot against Cameron University. MSU would defeat Cameron 70-69 Feb. 1 in D.L. Ligon Coliseum. Photo by: Lauren Roberts

The Mustang women had a tougher start in the second half as they watched their 14-point lead vanish when an Aggie three-pointer tied the game 55-55 with seven minutes left to play.

“In the first half we were finding their shooters in transition. In the second half we lost them. That’s what gave them the momentum. They were hitting their three’s and finding their shooters. We weren’t connecting with their shooters and they were knocking the shots down”, Janae McJunkins, junior in kinesiology, said.

The women’s team has been haunted by the zone all season and and it only continued in the second half. The aggressive Mustangs from the first half couldn’t find the shooters in the second half, losing their lead in the final minutes.

Down by five with two minutes left to play, the Mustang’s Andrea Carter, junior math major, shortened the lead to three with two free throws with only a minute left.

And that final minute was all Carter as she led the way for the Mustangs. A steal by Carter followed by a bucket allowed her to shorten the lead to one point.

Carter came up big once more with a defensive rebound with under ten seconds left. After a timeout, Dianna Jones scored the final basket taking MSU up by one, ending a close game with a victory, 70-69.

McJunkins said,”We aren’t letting things become one. Like, we’re breaking things down and then at the last minute we want to rush things. We just need play as one and let things flow like it should.”

After this game the women know what they will be working on in practice. Head Women’s Basketball Coach Noel Johnson said,”We’ll be working against the zone and being aggressive with the basketball in our hands and attacking the glass in the paint.”

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