Midwestern State holds off Washburn
Loyd scores game-high 21 points as Mustangs pull away late
WICHITA FALLS, Texas -- Fifth-ranked Midwestern State held off 19th-ranked Washburn 72-63 on Sunday to advance to its third consecutive regional final.
The top-seeded Mustangs started out quick with a 6-0 run before the Ichabods jumped on the board with a couple of free throws by junior Bobby Chipman. The six points were Midwestern’s largest margin of the half.
Washburn took its first lead of the game at the 10:38 mark on a Jared Henry layup off a steal to make it 16-15 Ichabods.
Late in the first half, Midwestern used a 6-0 run over a 2:53 second time span to increase their lead to 33-26.
Ichabod junior Martin Mitchell drained a trey to cut it back to a four-point game at the intermission at 33-29.
The lead changed hands six times and the game was tied twice in the first half.
Midwestern was led by senior Michael Loyd’s nine first-half points, while Washburn was paced by Mitchell and Will McNeill’s six points.
The second half was an up and down affair, with both teams running the floor. Midwestern State stayed with the game plan and kept going inside against the Ichabod big men, outscoring them in the paint.
McNeill, the Ichabod’s leading scorer at 20.1 points per game, heated up for Washburn in the second half, connecting on seven of 11 shots from the field and one of two from the free-throw line for 16 points.
The Mustangs’ David Terrell picked up his fourth foul of the contest with 11:19 remaining in the game, but the rest of the defense picked up the slack.
Senior Keonte Logan, a Wichita Falls native, connected on a 3-pointer at the 10:23 mark to give Midwestern a six-point advantage at 56-50.
Logan and McNeill collided right in front of the scorer’s table at the 6:13 and Logan briefly had to exit the game before returning.
Terrell, playing with four fouls, reentered the game with 5:52 remaining and made his presence felt immediately, clearing out a path for a Jeff Grayer lay in to give the Mustangs a three-point lead.
On the next possession, Midwestern extended its lead to five with a steal and layup from Loyd, part of a 6-0 run over 2:30.
Loyd’s alley-oop pass to Terrell for a slam with 1:21 left got the tense home crowd to their feet and give Midwestern a 65-59 lead.
The Mustangs ended the game on a 9-4 run to put away the Ichabods.
The Mustangs were led by Loyd’s 21 points on six of 13 shooting from the field and eight of 10 from the charity stripe, while Darrick Thomas added nine points for Midwestern State.
McNeill had 20 points for Washburn, while Mitchell added eight for the Ichabods.