|Heartbreak In Fresno|
Fresno Pacificís Jerante Morgan dropped in two free throws with two seconds left and the Sunbirds handed The Masterís College a heartbreaking 70-69 loss Tuesday evening in the Central Valley.
The loss was the Mustangsí fourth in a row and left them 1-2 in GSAC play and 3-5 overall.
Morganís last-second heroics came 15 seconds after TMCís Leif Karlberg stroked a three-pointer to give the Mustangs a one-point lead. It also capped off a see-saw second half that featured eight ties and lead changes.
The opening half was just the opposite as the Sunbirds surged to a huge lead and then watched the Mustangs come all the way back. Scoring 13 of the gameís first 15 points, the hosts led by 11 points just over four minutes into play.
The Mustangs made a couple of mini-runs to close the deficit to single digits but didnít make a serious dent in the margin until there was just over six minutes left in the half. Down 30-19, Anthony Cammon fueled a jaw-dropping, 17-0 run over a 4:27 stretch with a trio of three-pointers to give the Mustangs a six-point (36-30) lead at the 2:11 mark.
Regaining their composure, the Sunbirds scored the final five points of the half to close to within one at the break. Both clubs shot over 50% from the field in the first half, the Mustangs converting at a 52% clip while the Sunbirds were a little better at 57%. Karlberg led all scorers with 14 points, highlighted by a 4-7 showing from behind the arc.
The Mustangsí big, first-half run and the Sunbirdsí late push set up a second half where both clubs continued to shoot well and no more than four points separated either team.
It all came down to the final minutes where a big road win was there for the taking by the Mustangs. A Karlberg layup with 5:57 remaining moved the Mustangs ahead 64-61 but a drought of nearly four minutes let the Sunbirds hang around and the hosts capitalized to go up 67-66 at the 1:11 mark.
A Sunbird free throw made it a two-point game but Karlberg came up big, sticking a three-pointer with 17 seconds remaining to give the Mustangs a one-point lead. But, with the clock winding down, Morgan was fouled by Ronnie Dodd and then went to the line and calmly sank the winning points.
The Mustangs, who shot 52% in the second half, were led by 17 points apiece from Karlberg and Cammon. Karlberg drained five three-pointers while Cammon had four.
Now, the Mustangs must prepare for first-place and sixth-ranked Concordia Saturday evening as they return home for the first time since November 9. Tip-off is set for 7:30pm in Bross Gym.