|Extra Work Fizzles|
The Masterís College menís basketball team was ready to do anything Saturday evening to snap a five-game losing streak, including playing five more minutes in a GSAC game against Vanguard. But, in the end, even that wasnít enough as the visiting Lions grabbed the lead in overtime and held on to slide by the Mustangs 77-74 in Bross Gym.
The loss not only extended the clubís overall losing streak to six games but it also lengthened their conference skid to nine consecutive contests. The Mustangs are now 8-12 overall and 1-9 in the GSAC.
After Christopher Raybon forced overtime with a trio of free throws 10 seconds before the end of regulation, he scored the first points of the extra period on a jumper and the Lions never trailed again. The Mustangs pulled to within two points on a couple of occasions and even chopped the margin to one but the Lions had an answer every time.
Joey Fuca hit two free throws to close the deficit to 71-69 but Taylor Kelly drained the last of his four three-pointers with 1:47 remaining, increasing the advantage to five points. TMCís Anthony Cammon, who tallied a game-high 24 points, duplicated that 13 seconds later but an Alex Chapman free throw made it a three-point game.
With 47 seconds left, Devin Dyer reduced the deficit to one with a pair of free throws but Chapmanís layup with 10 seconds remaining restored the three-point edge. Still, the Mustangs had a chance to tie it but Leif Karlberg misfired on a couple of three-ball attempts in the last five seconds and the Lions escaped with a rare road win.
The loss was a bitter one for the Mustangs to swallow especially after they connected on a sizzling 69% of their shots in the first half. After falling behind 7-4 with 16:21 left in the period, the Mustangs ripped off 11 points in a row to grab an eight-point lead. Cammon, who had 16 points in a sizzling (8-10 from the field) first half, ignited the run with a layup and added four more during the spurt.
The Mustangs never trailed the rest of the half but the Lions didnít go away, either. Following a Karlberg three-point play at the 10:58 mark that pushed the advantage to 20-12, the Lions roared back into contention and then some, reeling off a 10-2 burst to tie the game at 22 over three minutes later.
A bucket by Paul Brown reclaimed the lead for the Mustangs and another Cammon basket increased the advantage to four points. A Dyer layup with 4:28 left pushed the advantage to 33-27 and when the sophomore guard buried a trifecta at the 2:49 mark, the Mustangs had a 36-29 lead.
They were still up 41-35 on a Fuca three-pointer with 20 seconds on the clock but Kelly dittoed that at the buzzer, sending the clubs to intermission separated by only three points. The Mustangs went to the break having connected on 18-26 of their shots from the field but the Lions werenít too bad, either, hitting on 52% of their attempts.
That kind of shooting didnít show up in the second half and the game played out nip-and-tuck the rest of the way. The Mustangs led by as many as six points in the second period while the Lions led by five at one point. The six-point Mustang advantage came at 49-43 on a Dyer jumper with 15:32 remaining but the Lions made that short-lived, reeling off 12 straight points in a 6:46 window to take a 54-49 lead.
A Karlberg three-pointer ended TMCís seven-minute scoring drought at the 8:16 mark and sparked a 15-5 burst that turned a five-point deficit into a five-point lead. Cammonís three-pointer with 4:13 remaining capped the run and handed the Mustangs a 64-59 lead.
They were still up by five points (67-62) and were looking good with 30 seconds left when the Lions made a last-ditch run. It started with a pair of Chapman charity tosses and concluded with Raybonís regulation-ending heroics.
Cammon, who has averaged just a tick under 18 points per game over his past nine outings, went 11-15 from the field en route to his game-high total. Meanwhile, Dyer, who has really blossomed as a starter over the past ten games, tallied a career-high 23 points on 8-11 shooting. Fuca struggled through a tough night (4-13) but still finished with 13 points while Karlberg had 10 more.
The Mustangs take another crack at ending their respective losing streaks on Tuesday evening when they host Hope International in a 7:30pm start.