Basketball hosts Cameron University for last home game

Makayla Scheck

Head coach Noel Johnson speaks to her athletes in a timeout against Cameron University. Feb 20. Photo by Bridget Reilly

Men’s and women’s basketball faced Cameron University for their last game 2017-18 regular season game at D. L. Ligon Coliseum. The women were defeated at the 5:30 p.m. game, while the men won at the 7:30 p.m. game on Feb. 20.

“It felt good to be back on the court and making a contribution on the court, instead of cheerleading and coaching a little,” Nick Powell, forward and undecided senior said. “I think we did really well, especially compared to our last game. We came with a new approach and played as a team, so we came out with a win.”

Chelcie Kizart, guard and pre-physical therapy junior, started off the first quarter by making the first basket at the 8:32 mark. At the 6:47 mark, Kristin Rydell, guard and nursing senior, missed a three-pointer, but Micheline Mercelita, forward and kinesiology senior, rebounded the ball and made the basket. At the 2:12 mark, Rydell managed to steal the ball from Cameron University and make a layup. The second quarter started with a 15-12 score, only 10 minutes before haltime. At the 9:26 mark, Whitney Taylor, forward and education senior, made a three-pointer and brought the score to 18-14. Jasmine Richardson, guard and exercise physiology senior, tacked on two points for the team to make the score 20-18. With just under two minutes left, Anni Scholl, guard and marketing junior, made a three-point shot to tie up the score. The score going into halftime was 34-34.

Business senior Devante Pullum, jumps above defenders to score a point against Cameron University. Feb 20. Photo by Bridget Reilly

“We have to come back together as one, how we were at the beginning of the season. We have to be a team, respect each other and have know we have each other’s back on and off the court,” Kizart said.

Brandon Neel, senior guard, started off the first half of the men’s game with a three-point basket. At the 12:20 mark, Logan Hicks, sophomore guard, made a three-point shot. He then made two fouls shots and a two-point basket to bring the score to 18-20. With 3:20 left until halftime, Neel made another three-pointer. Devante Pullum, guard and business senior, made a basket to bring the score to 29-35. Neel was up for foul shots at the :53 mark, he made both of them and the score was 31-35. Then with :25 on his side, Trey Kennedy, guard and psychology senior, made a three-point basket. The score at the half was 34-37.

“We can defend better and rebound better late in the game. If we get 80 points we should be able to win the game, so definitely defense,” Hicks said.

Mercelita made a shot at 7:41 mark to make the score 36-36. At the 6:54 mark, Kizart made a three-point shot and made the score 39-38.  Richardson finished out the scoring in the third quarter at the 1:31 mark. The score going into the last quarter of the game was 45-52. The fourth quarter began with a basket by Taylor at the 9:20 mark. She then made a three-pointer at the 4:30 mark, this basket marked the 156th three-point shot in her career at MSU. She is now the all-time three-point leader on campus. Rydell was given a foul shot at the 1:26 mark, she made it and brought the score to 53-67. Avery Queen, forward/center and biology senior, made the final basket for the team with :54 left to the game. The final score was 55-59 and the women’s team was not able to take down Cameron University.

“It was really awesome to make the record, I think my team might have been more excited than I was at the time. It is really exciting, my friend is the one who originally held it and all my teammates over the past four years have been the one to help me get that,” Taylor said.

The second half of the men’s game kicked into gear with a layup from Neel at the 16:23 mark, just after Josh Huntley, forward and business senior, added two points to make the score 38-42. At the 14:11 mark, Ola Ayodele, junior guard/forward, stole the ball from Cameron University and passed it to Hicks. Hicks then put it up for a three and brought the team ahead four points. With five minutes left, the game was tied at 64-64. Neel made two foul shots at the 4:52 mark. Just seconds later, Kennedy made a basket and the score was 68-65. As the game neared the end, Hicks made foul shots and the score was 72-67. With :55 seconds left, Ayodele stole the ball and drove down the court. Nearing the basket, he passed the ball behind his back to Pullum. Pullum then handed it to Neel and he made the basket. But the game didn’t stop there. Ayodele made one out of two foul shots at the :37 mark. With :13 left Pullum added another two points to the score, then followed up with one foul shot. The final score was 80-72 and the men’s basketball team rose above Cameron University.

Mass communications sophmore Mica Schneider goes for a layup against Cameron University. Feb 20. Photo by Bridget Reilly

“We knew we needed this win because the last game we had we weren’t all together. We came out strong in the second half and executed,” Ayodele said.

This game was the last game for the men’s regular season. They will go into the LSC Postseason Tournament on Mar. 1, with a 11-17 record. However, the women’s team still have one final game on Feb. 24 at Texas Women’s University. Their current record is 13-12, going into their final regular season game. They will join the men’s team at the Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco for the LSC Postseason Tournament. The tournament will take place from Mar. 1 through Mar. 4.