|Dry Spell Dooms Mustangs |
Going without a point for nearly six minutes in the second half cost The Master’s College women’s basketball team dearly Tuesday evening as No. 9 Biola turned a close game into a runaway, beating the Mustangs 77-63 in La Mirada.
The club’s second loss in a row dropped the Mustangs to 15-9 overall and 8-7 in the GSAC where they share seventh place with Concordia.
After leading for much of the first half but trailing 61-54 with just over 11 minutes remaining, the Mustangs missed six straight shots and committed five turnovers in a 5:55 window while the Eagles reeled off 12 consecutive points to take decisive control.
The Mustangs, who never recovered, trailed by as many as 21 points (77-56) before scoring the game’s last seven points.
It was a disappointing ending to a game that the Mustangs felt was well within their grasp based on a strong first half and their January 4, 73-65 victory over the Eagles.
After falling behind 4-1 in the first minute of play, the Mustangs ripped off 10 straight points for a seven-point advantage. Zoe Scott, starting in place of Morgan Schwegler, fueled the run with a jumper, Erica Inge buried a pair of three-pointers, and Lena Rivera capped off the run with a bucket at the 16:35 mark.
Biola returned the favor minutes later, outscoring the Mustangs 11-4 in a three-minute span to knot the game at 15 with 12:40 left in the first half. On their next possession, however, an Inge triple unlocked the tie and the Mustangs stayed in front for nearly nine minutes.
Consecutive jumpers from Theresa Brown and Scott pushed the advantage to seven points (24-17) with 10:15 remaining and the Mustangs grabbed their largest lead (29-21) when Lauren Labat drilled a trifecta at the 7:30 mark.
But, showing the mettle that makes up one of the nation’s top squads, the Eagles methodically carved away at the deficit, eventually outscoring the Mustangs 11-3 over the next 3˝ minutes to draw even at 32 with 3:59 left. The Mustangs responded with five straight points on an Inge three-pointer and a Rivera jumper but the Eagles closed the half on a 9-3 skein to take a lead (41-40) for the first time since the game’s opening minute.
Their one-point lead at the break was fueled by 55% shooting and eight Mustang turnovers. The Mustangs, led by Inge’s 12 points (four three-pointers), shot at a 48% clip.
The Eagles’ late first-half burst carried over into the second period as they outscored the Mustangs 16-6 in the opening 5:43 to take a 57-46 lead. The Mustangs fought back, tallying five straight points on a Scott triple and two Inge free throws but that was as close as they would get as the Eagles responded by scoring 16 of the game’s next 19 points.
After hitting nearly 50% of their shots in the first half, the Mustangs managed just 26% accuracy over the final 20 minutes. Meanwhile, the Eagles nailed 46% of their attempts.
Scott, who tossed in nine second-half points, shared team-high scoring honors at 16 points with Inge. Rivera chipped in with eight points and yanked down a team-best 10 rebounds.
After going 0-2 on the road in the last four days, the Mustangs return home on Saturday to host Pt. Loma Nazarene at 5:30pm.