|Wrong Time To Go Cold|
Riding a three-game winning streak and the momentum that it hoped would carry it through the stretch run of the conference schedule, The Masterís College womenís basketball team picked the worst time to go cold, shooting only 26% from the field in a 61-47 loss to Concordia Saturday evening in Irvine.
Recording a season-low in points, the Mustangs dropped to 15-8 overall (8-6 in the GSAC) and into a sixth-place tie with the Eagles whose victory swept the season series between the two clubs.
It started early for the Mustangs, who connected on only two of their first 18 shots while the Eagles, who tore off runs of 8-0 and 12-3, surged to a 20-5 lead with just under 11 minutes left in the first half.
The Mustangs finally got it going, scoring six consecutive points to close to 20-11 on a Theresa Brown jumper with 7:35 remaining. The junior center added a pair of free throws in the mini-run while Erica Inge started it with a layup.
And, the Mustangs werenít done either. Down 22-11 with seven minutes to play in the opening period, Ella Joines poured in a three-pointer that sparked a 9-3 spurt over the next four minutes, pulling the Mustangs to within 25-20 at the 2:16 mark. Along the way, Inge scored on a layup, Lena Rivera converted a pair of free throws, and Brook Bekendam capped things off with a jumper.
But, the Eagles turned the momentum in the final two minutes of the half, tallying six straight points to take a 31-20 lead at halftime. Over the first 20 minutes, the Mustangs shot just 21% from the field, including a 1-9 effort from behind the arc. The Eagles didnít exactly tear it up, either, but their 39% conversion mark was much better than the Mustangsí.
Brown, who tallied six first-half points, kept the Mustangs close in the opening two minutes of the second half, sandwiching a pair of jumpers around two Inge charity tosses to close the deficit to 33-26.
Sensing the Mustangs biting at their heels, the Eagles responded with a flurry in a 1Ĺ-minute span, reeling off seven straight points to go up 40-26. Combined with a 10-2 burst a few minutes later, the Eagles put the game away in decisive fashion as the Mustangs never got closer than 11 points the rest of the way.
That margin (52-41) came at the end of a 7-0 skein with Brown playing a major role. She scored four points on a jumper and two free throws while Zoe Scott drained a three-ball. But, the Mustangs had only five minutes to work with and it wasnít nearly enough as the Eagles methodically pulled away.
Brown had a big second half with 16 points and wound with a game-high 22 to go along with a team-high eight rebounds. No other Mustangs scored in double figures as Inge, who suffered through a tough shooting night, scored seven points while handing out a game-high four assists.
Despite the loss, the Mustangs are still just a game out of fourth-place in a very competitive race for one of the top four spots that guarantees a first-round home game in the GSAC Tournament. The Mustangs will seek to take another step toward that goal Tuesday evening when they play at No. 8 Biola, a squad they beat 73-65 back on January 4.