|Appearances Can Be Deceiving|
Just when it looked like The Master’s College men’s basketball team was about to snap its six-game GSAC losing skid, host California Baptist tore off a late run to rally for a 60-54 victory Saturday evening in Riverside.
The loss was the Mustangs’ fourth in a row and lowered their conference record to 1-7 and their overall slate to 8-10.
The Mustangs, who trailed just once in the first half and built a seven-point lead in the opening minutes of the second period, were up 42-38 with 9:44 remaining when the Lancers made their move. Over the next seven minutes, they hit the Mustangs with a 13-2 burst, turning a deficit into a seven-point (51-44) advantage.
Never getting closer than five points the rest of the way, the shell-shocked Mustangs tried to recover but after Anthony Cammon sank a pair of free throws, the Lancers ripped off seven straight points to complete the come-from-behind victory.
After spotting the hosts a 2-0 lead in the game's opening minute, the Mustangs tallied the next five points, all by Cammon, to take a lead they would enjoy well into the second half. The Lancers got to within one (9-8) at the 15:07 mark but a Devin Dyer three-point play triggered an 8-0 spurt, pushing the Mustang lead to 17-8. Joey Fuca added a layup and Cammon drilled a trey to complete the run.
The Lancers used a three-point play and a free throw to pull within five but consecutive layups from Cammon fueled a 13-3 skein that Dyer capped off with a layup for a 30-15 lead with 3:14 left in the half. During the burst, Cammon added another bucket as did Dyer while Brandon Bibbins hit a three-pointer.
Although stunned by TMC’s onslaught, the Lancers composed themselves in the final two minutes and outscored the Mustangs 8-0 to pull within 30-23 at the break.
A basket out of intermission eventually made it ten straight points by the Lancers, who stayed on the Mustangs’ heels until their decisive run. A pair of Fuca free throws and a Cammon layup made it a 34-27 game with 16:13 remaining but four straight Lancer points narrowed the deficit to three.
Cammon, who has averaged 16 points over his last seven games and 20.5 in his past two, played all 40 minutes and poured in a game-high 22 points. Fuca was the only other Mustang in double figures with 12 points.
Ending a pair of losing streaks won’t be easy as the Mustangs next face No. 9 Azusa Pacific Tuesday evening.