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The Streak Is Over

All would be well with The Master’s College men’s basketball team if it could play San Diego Christian more than two times. At least this season. For the second time in the 2010-11 campaign, the Mustangs beat the Hawks, snapping a pair of streaks in a hard-fought, 52-44 win Thursday evening in Bross Gym.

The victory put an end to a seven-game skid and a streak of 10 in a row in the GSAC. The Mustangs improved to 9-13 overall and 2-10 in the conference.

On an evening when neither team shot better than 36%, both slogged their way through a less than pretty first half. Although they were outshot 33%-23% over the opening 20 minutes, the Mustangs still took a 22-20 lead to halftime.

They were helped along by a 10-0 run over a 2˝-minute span that gave them a 14-7 lead with 11:22 left in the half. An Anthony Cammon three-pointer triggered the run, Leif Karlberg drained another triple, and Ronnie Dodd capped it off with a layup.

That seven-point advantage was their largest of the first half and the Hawks made sure of that and more. Responding to the Mustangs’ burst, the Hawks outscored the hosts 8-3 over in just over 90 seconds to whittle the deficit to 17-15.

Devin Dyer snapped the Hawks’ modest run with a pair of free throws but the visitors kept coming, tearing off five straight points to go up by one (20-19) with 2:38 remaining in the half. A Ronnie Dodd free throw over a minute later knotted the game and Anthony Wells unlocked the tie with one minute left when he scored on a layup.

That was the difference at halftime as the Mustangs led 22-20.

Coming out of halftime, they pushed the lead to five points from the line with Cammon converting one free throw and Dyer sinking two more charities. The Hawks countered with a pair of foul shots, too, but the Mustangs continued to pull away as Joey Fuca drilled a three-pointer and Karlberg converted a three-point play to push the advantage to 31-22 with 15:22 remaining.

The Mustangs never trailed the rest of the way but the Hawks hung around and threatened on more than one occasion. After going down 40-30 on a Fuca jumper with 11:05 left, the Hawks held the Mustangs scoreless for nearly three minutes while halving the deficit at the 8:35 mark.

Five straight points from Dyer made it a 45-38 game but then the well went dry for both clubs as each scored only two points in a 2:50 window. The Mustangs maintained their seven-point lead with 4:37 left to play and the Hawks got no closer than five points the rest of the way. The final time was at 49-44 with 1:59 remaining but they never scored again while the Mustangs closed out the win with three free throws.

Dyer tied for game-high scoring honors with 12 points and was complemented by Fuca and Karlberg, who had 11 apiece. The Mustangs improved their second-half shooting to 42% and finished at just over 30% for the game.

Winning for the first time in nearly a month, the Mustangs wish they could turn around and play another game quickly but they must wait until next Tuesday when they host Fresno Pacific.

Game Stats

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