WICHITA FALLS — Freshman Kenesha Saygo led three TWU players in double figures but the Pioneers dropped their Lone Star Conference opener 70-59 at Midwestern State on Thursday night.
Saygo came off the bench and scored 12 points on four field goals and four free throws. Toree Mason added 11 points while Ria Pateraki finished with 10 points and a team-best nine rebounds.
TWU’s Danielle Westerfiled chipped in with eight points while Wichita Falls native Rebekah Cluley finished with seven in her final regular-season visit to her hometown.
TWU led 15-9 with 11:24 left in the first half, but the Mustangs used a 13-3 run to go on top 22-18. MSU built an eight-point lead with less than four minutes to go in the half before the Pioneers scored five straight points to cut the deficit to 29-26. The Mustangs answered with six consecutive points and led 35-26 at the break.
Midwestern State pushed the lead to 12 early in the second half before the Pioneers rattled off seven straight points to make it 40-35. MSU responded and built a 56-42 lead with less than seven minutes to go. The Mustangs maintained the double-digit lead the rest of the way.
TWU made just 19 of 30 free throws — a 63.3 percentage. The Pioneers committed 21 turnovers, and MSU scored 24 points off those turnovers.
“Turnovers and missed free throws hurt us,” TWU coach Beth Jillson said. “We were aggressive getting to the free throw line 30 times, but we need to knock them down.”
The Pioneers (4-6) will travel to Stephenville to face Tarleton State at 5 p.m. Saturday.