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Royals Leave Mustangs With No Hope

Hope International’s Orlando Collins scored the go-ahead basket with 1:34 left to play and the Royals escaped Bross Gym Tuesday evening with a 66-63 win over The Master’s College, extending the Mustangs’ (8-13, 1-10) losing streak to seven games overall and 10 consecutive in the GSAC.

Collins’ bucket capped off an 8-2 run that brought the visitors back from a four-point (60-56) deficit less than three minutes later. The Mustangs closed to within one point 14 seconds later when Joey Fuca converted one of two charity tosses but those were the club’s final points while the Royals’ Aaron Wood closed things out with two free throws with just three ticks left on the clock.

The Mustangs’ quest to break a nine-game, conference losing streak didn’t start well as the Royals spotted them the first two points of the game and then raced off to an 11-6 lead. Using that as an impetus, the Royals outscored the Mustangs 13-2 in a 3:05 window that doubled the advantage at 22-11.

They were still up by 10 (25-15) points with 7:07 remaining in the half when the Mustangs started to methodically climb back in the game. They started with back-to-back threes from Leif Karlberg and when Paul Brown tallied on a layup with 1:35 remaining, the Mustangs were within two points (33-31). But, the Royals closed out the half with four straight points and took a 37-31 advantage at intermission.

The Royals hit 48% of their shots in the first half while the Mustangs managed just 39% accuracy.

Although the Mustangs stayed within striking distance through the first 10 minutes of the second half, they just couldn’t overtake the visitors. Hope led by as many as eight points (41-33) early in the second half but didn’t let the Mustangs get closer than three points until there were just over 10 minutes left to play.

Down 47-42 with 11:02 left to play, the Mustangs reeled off five straight points to knot the game. Anthony Wells’ layup brought the club to within three points and then on the next possession, Karlberg tied things up on a three-pointer. Hope quickly reclaimed the lead and were up by four points (51-47) when the Mustangs made another surge.

In just under a minute, the Mustangs took their first lead (52-51) since the opening minute of play. Devin Dyer’s layup halved the deficit and then Cammon gave the team the one-point advantage when he buried one from behind the arc.

Again, Hope bounced back, scoring a bucket to take back the lead. But, this time the Mustangs had an answer, tying the game on a Paul Brown free throw and then moving ahead on a Cammon layup. The Royals made it a one-point game on two occasions but an Anthony Wells’ trifecta with 4:17 left gave the Mustangs their largest lead (60-56) of the game.

All that did was energize the Royals who closed with their decisive 8-2 tear.

Cammon and Brown racked up double-doubles in valiant performances. The former finished with a team-high 15 points and 10 rebounds while Brown scored 13 points and yanked down a like number of caroms. Karlberg supported those two with 12 points.

Now, the Mustangs turn their sights on San Diego Christian in an effort to bring the losing streak to an end. The two clubs will tip off Thursday evening in Bross Gym at 7:30pm.

Game Stats

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