|Joey To The Rescue|
Joey Fuca’s driving layup fell in at the buzzer and The Master’s College escaped with a 71-69 victory over upstart William Jessup Monday evening in Bross Gym. The win was the Mustangs’ fourth in a row and lifted their record to 7-6.
Fuca, who persevered through a tough shooting (5-13) night, held the ball on the perimeter until the final seconds then drove the right side of the key and threw up an off-balance runner that hit the back rim and dropped in. It capped off a come-from-behind effort on an evening when the Mustangs led only four times until Fuca’s heroics.
Two of those leads (6-4, 7-5) came in the game’s first four minutes prior to the Warriors taking control with a 14-2 run. They went on to lead by as many as 12 points(39-27) and went to halftime up 43-32. The Mustangs closed the early deficit to 25-22 on an Anthony Cammon three-pointer with 8:27 left in the half but the Warriors used a 12-5 spurt to go up by a dozen points.
The Warriors hit 49% of their shots in the first half while the Mustangs connected on 39%. Devin Dyer, Fuca, and Cammon had seven points each.
Determined to beat a GSAC team (three prior losses) for the first time this season, the Warriors continued to take it to the Mustangs in the opening minutes of the second half. They took another 12-point (44-32) advantage on a Lucas Domingue free throw and were ahead 50-40 at the 16:02 mark when TMC made a fast recovery.
Sandwiching three-pointers by Leif Karlberg and Cammon around a Fuca layup, the Mustangs ripped off 10 straight points to tie the game with 12:54 remaining. The Warriors responded with a 5-2 spurt but Cammon drilled another three-pointer, his third of the evening, to tie the game at 60 with 7:37 left to play.
From then on, no more than four points separated the clubs and the Mustangs dissolved that lead (66-62) in a matter of two possessions when Paul Brown’s dunk and Karlberg’s trifecta vaulted the Mustangs into the lead, 67-66 at the 4:18 mark.
The clubs traded baskets in the next 55 seconds and then went scoreless over the next three minutes until Damal Neil hit one of two free throws to draw the Warriors into a 69-all tie. That came with 23 ticks left on the clock, plenty of time, as it turned out, for Fuca to win the game.
Fuca was one of four Mustangs to finish in double figures with Anthony Wells and Cammon sharing game-high honors with 15 points. Both Wells and Cammon drained a trio of three-pointers apiece.
The Mustangs now take time off for the Christmas break and return to the court on New Year’s Day to host Cal Maritime at 2:00pm.