The Mustangs have had this game with Tarleton circled on their calendars for some time. They knew this was their litmus test - and they almost passed it, falling to TSU 83-81.

Tarleton rode into Wichita Falls sporting a perfect 13-0 record, sitting atop of the LSC standings alongside MSU. The Texans looked far from perfect early on as Midwestern jumped out to an early 10-2 lead.

The Texans would recover, tying the game at 39 late in the first half, but never took the outright lead before halftime. MSU took advantage of a Xavier Blackburn three pointer with 1:04 left to take the 42-39 lead after one.

The numbers looked to be in favor of MSU who led in FG%, rebounds, and assists in the first half. But Tarleton would mimic the women's team that played just before them and get hot in the second half.

TSU improved their field goal percentage from 44.4% to 55.2% in the second frame. Timely buckets from Chuck Guy and Emmanuel Andrews kept TSU in the game. For MSU, senior guard Monzaigo Williams connected on 3-4 from downtown to try to keep Tarleton from running away with the game.

TSU led 83-77 with just 2:01 to play. A free throw and a 3-bomb by MSU's DeJuan Plummer cut the lead to 83-81 with 20 seconds to play. On the next Midwestern offensive play, contact was made with both Williams and Plummer but no fouls were called as time expired.

MSU takes it's first conference loss (11-5, 3-1) and will look to get back in to the win column next Wednesday, January 22, in a game at Angelo State. Tip-off is set for 8pm.

You can follow coverage of the Mustangs on the road at www.msumustangs.com

(Box Score, MSU Mustangs)