A Deficit Too Far

February 5, 2013

Irvine, CA -- Using a 26-6 first-half blitz, Concordia flew by The Master's College Tuesday evening in Irvine, defeating the Mustangs for the second time this year, 66-55.

Unable to put together a winning streak for the first time since late December, the Mustangs fell into a three-way tie for sixth place in the GSAC and dropped to 14-10 overall.

Looking for some revenge after losing to the Eagles at home in mid-January, the Mustangs fell behind early only to draw within 9-7 on a Jason Logan (Spartanburg, SC) layup with 15:32 left in the opening half.  That was as close as the Mustangs would get the rest of the evening.

Sparked by a free throw and layup by Tyler Hickert, the Eagles proceeded to score 26 of the game's next 32 points in a 10-minute window, forging a 35-13 lead with 5:31 remaining in the stanza.  During that stretch, the Mustangs went just 2-11 from the field and committed seven turnovers.  Eventually, 10 Mustang miscues translated into 16 first-half points by the Eagles.

A three-pointer by Derrick Fain (Dallas, TX) at the 5:02 mark put an end to the skein and triggered an 8-0 burst in a three-minute span that pulled the Mustangs to within 35-21.  Paul Brown (Kingston, Jamaica) contributed a basket to the surge and Leif Karlberg (Anchorage, AK) capped it off with his second trifecta of the half.

After trading hoops over the final two minutes, the Eagles took a 40-26 advantage into halftime.  During the first 20 minutes, the Mustangs shot just 37% (10-27) from the field while the Eagles ripped the twine at a 62% (16-26) clip.

Although the Eagles couldn't maintain that accuracy (44%) in the second half, the Mustangs didn't improve enough (39%) to make a real dent in the Concordia advantage.  Jason Logan, single-handedly, tried to in the first 1:30 of the half, scoring his club's first six points and slicing the deficit to 44-32.

However, that only got the hosts' attention and they responded by reeling off seven straight points for a 51-32 lead with 15:30 left in the game.  Still, on an evening when the Mustangs just didn't shoot very well, they still managed to stay within hailing distance, putting together a 10-2 run that made it a 53-42 game at the 12:54 mark.  Karlberg initiated and finished off the skein with two more treys and in between Austin Loeb (Cypress, CA) and Chris Patureau tallied baskets.

Just over two minutes later, a Devin Dyer (Temecula, CA) trifecta drew the Mustangs as close as 57-47 but the Eagles maintained their double-digit lead the rest of the way except when another Dyer three-pointer made it a nine-point (63-54) game with 4:37 left on the clock.

Neither team did much offensively over the final four minutes as they combined for just four points and that was significant for the Mustangs, who failed to carve into the deficit, managing just a Brown free throw in that span.

Logan, who went 7-10 from the field and tore down a team-best seven rebounds, paced the Mustangs with 15 points while Karlberg, who went 4-9 from behind the arc, had 13 more to go along with a game-high five steals.  Dyer tallied eight points and dished out a game-high four assists.

With only five games left in the regular-season and the GSAC Tournament just three weeks away, the Mustangs continue their quest for a strong finish and a quality seeding this Saturday evening when they host Biola in a 7:30pm start in Bross Gym.