First Half Lifts Men’s Basketball in Battle of the Mustangs

MSU ends homestand with 2nd straight LSC win


General business senior and guard JaJuan Starks scoots past a Western New Mexico University player to shoot a lay-up. Jan 12. Photo by Bridget Reilly

The men’s basketball team boasted a stellar shooting night, propelled by a dominant first half as they brushed aside the Western New Mexico Mustangs 88-70 at the D.L. Ligon Coliseum on Jan. 12.

Spurred on by hundreds of engaged fans, they set the pace on both ends of the court from tip-off to march to a 46-22 lead at half-time. WNMU was limited to just 24 percent shooting at the half, including zero three-pointers, and could not a find a way back into the game as the Mustangs claimed their 2nd victory of the week to improve their Lone Star Conference record to 2-4.

Nelson Haggerty, head men’s basketball coach, said the first half’s play was the best he has seen from his team all season.

“Anytime you hold them to 24 percent with zero threes, we outer bounded them, we forced 10 turnovers – you could definitely say that was our best half,” said the two-time LSC coach of the season.

Haggerty also praised the efficiency and selflessness of his team, as evidenced by season-highs in assists (24) and field-goal percentage (54).

“We’re doing a great job of sharing the basketball. When we’re driving we’re making plays for each other. We’re not forcing many shots. Offensively that’s one way we’re getting better,” said Haggerty.

Business management junior and guard Josh Wallace recorded is second near-triple-double with a handy stat line of 16 points, eight rebounds and seven assists on 7-of-11 shooting. Wallace who played a leading role in MSU’s 73-65 win against UT-Permian Basin on Thursday, said the team is turning things around.

“We’ve been having a different approach coming into practice everyday, we’ve lost some tough ones and they’ve been close, we’ve still been improving and we knew eventually we were gonna turn this thing around,” said Wallace. “When you start winning, guys – instead of dreading practice – are looking forward to practice. We have a very competitive team and we’re all on the same page. We’re finally all starting to come together and it’s starting to show.”

Business senior and Jajuan Starks led the scoring for MSU with 19 points on 7-from-14 shooting.

“Those things help our guys have the connection with our fans. Not just with the support, but even when preparing for a home contest, for the pride of the school. We had a great showing and I know it will get even better once we come back and build some more wins here,” said Haggerty.