Burned By A Firestorm

January 12, 2013

Phoenix, AZ -- Upstart Arizona Christian ripped off 16 straight points in a run that bridged each half and went on to beat The Master's College 84-69 Saturday evening in the Valley of the Sun.

The loss was the Mustangs' third in a row(11-6) but, more importantly, their second straight to start GSAC play.  Meanwhile, the Firestorm, who upset defending national champion Concordia in their conference opener last Tuesday, improved to 12-2 (2-0 GSAC).

Down 23-19 with just under seven minutes remaining in the first half, the Firestorm began their game-changing skein with a pair of Jordan Block free throws and added 12 more points before halftime, taking a 33-23 lead at the break.  Held scoreless over the final 6:53 of the opening half, the Mustangs didn't help themselves by committing eight turnovers and going 0-5 from the field.

ACU's Jackson Helms capped the run with a layup at the 18:51 mark of the final stanza, giving his team a 12-point advantage.  The Mustangs retaliated with four straight points from Chris Patureau (Houston, TX), slicing the deficit to 35-27.  The sophomore forward's layup at the 18:36 mark of the second half snapped the Mustangs' scoreless streak at just over eight minutes.

But, that was as close as the Mustangs would get the rest of the way as the Firestorm tallied 11 of the game's next 13 points, highlighted by a 9-0 burst that ballooned the margin to 47-29 with 14:51 left to play.  The advantage grew to a game-high 21 points (71-50) on a Jackson Helms' three-point play with 4:09 remaining.

The Mustangs made one last charge, outscoring the Firestorm 10-2 in less than a minute to close to 73-60 with 3:11 showing on the clock.  Senior guard Devin Dyer (Temecula, CA) keyed the late rush with seven points while Patureau added a trifecta.  However, the Firestorm responded with a 6-2 run to restore order and cruised to the victory.

If the first six minutes of play were any indication, it looked like the Mustangs would be the team cruising to the win.  After watching the hosts reel off the game's first five points, the Mustangs turned around and tore off 12 consecutive points to take a lead (12-5 with 14:11 remaining in the half) they would hold onto until the Firestorm strung together its decisive run nearly eight minutes later.

Jason Logan (Spartanburg, SC) triggered the run with a layup and added another bucket along the way while sophomore Derrick Fain (Dallas, TX) finished it off with five straight points, including a three-pointer.  The Mustangs would enjoy four more seven-point advantages until the Firestorm stopped them in their tracks.

Patureau led four Mustangs in double figures with 18 points and his game-high tying 13 rebounds gave him his first double-double of the campaign.  Logan notched his third double-double of the season, tallying 14 points while grabbing a dozen boards.  Dyer, who struggled from the field (5-22), finished with 17 points and Fain tacked on 10 more.

It doesn't get any easier for the Mustangs in the week ahead as they return home on Tuesday to host the same Concordia team upset by the Firestorm this past week and then play at Biola next Saturday.