|Mustangs Stop Skid Against Royals|
Putting an end to a season-high, four-game losing streak, The Master’s College women’s basketball team lashed Hope International 65-53 Tuesday evening in Bross Gym.
The Mustangs’ first win since January 8 not only improved their overall record to 13-7, but, more importantly, boosted them into a tie for fifth place with Westmont in the GSAC at 6-5.
Seeking to establish the tempo from the opening tip, the Mustangs bolted to a 7-0 lead in the first 1:40 of action. Theresa Brown triggered the run with a jumper, Ella Joines drained a three-pointer, and Lena Rivera finished it with a jumper.
The fast start didn’t finish off the Royals who rallied within 16-12 on an Angela Hernandez layup with 14:29 remaining in the first half but it was only a matter of time before the Mustangs pulled away for good.
Up 19-14 with 13:09 left in the first period, the Mustangs held the Royals to just two points over the next 4:40 while tallying eight points to increase the advantage to 27-16. Brown’s two free throws fueled the spurt, Lindsey Levanen added a three-point play and Rivera capped it off with a three-ball.
The Mustangs kept the lead in double figures the rest of the way and used a 7-0 spurt over the final 1:22 of the half to take a 40-24 lead at the break. Brook Bekendam spurred the run with a jumper, Morgan Schwegler tossed in a layup, and Zoe Scott buried a trifecta at the buzzer.
Shooting a solid 56% from the field in the first half, highlighted by a 4-8 showing from behind the arc, the Mustangs were led by Brown’s 10 points and seven rebounds.
There was no letup over much of the second half as the Mustangs took their first 20-point lead of the game with 15:35 left on a Joines’ trey. That was part of a 14-5 run over a 4:15 window that widened the margin to 53-30 on a Levanen free throw at the 11:20 mark.
Keeping their foot on the gas, the Mustangs forged their largest lead of the contest at 63-37 on a Rivera layup with 5:27 remaining. Then, just as quickly, the momentum slowed way down and the club scored just two points the rest of the way. That, combined with a seeming loss of interest down the stretch, raised the ire of head coach Dan Waldeck who called two timeouts in a 14-second span as the Royals made the outcome appear closer than it really was.
The Mustangs shot just 39% over the final 20 minutes but limited the Royals to 31% accuracy. Rivera led all scorers with 15 points on 6-10 shooting while Brown had 14 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Joines’ four three-pointers gave her 12 points and Erica Inge tallied just two points but handed out a game-high 10 assists. There won’t be much time to celebrate this streak-stopping win as the Mustangs turn around Thursday evening to host San Diego Christian in a 5:30pm start.