November 30, 2012
Redding, Calif. -- What a difference four weeks and 500 miles makes! Back on November 3, The Master's College men's basketball team opened the 2012-13 campaign in Bross Gym with an easy win over Simpson.
On Friday night in Redding, however, the Redhawks exacted some revenge, beating the Mustangs 76-69. It was the second straight loss for TMC which fell to 5-3.
In contrast to the wire-to-wire win the Mustangs enjoyed in the clubs' first meeting, this was a seesaw contest through the first 11 minutes of action, featuring five lead changes in that window. Consecutive jumpers from Jason Logan (Spartanburg, SC) and Austin Loeb (Cypress, CA) propelled the Mustangs to a quick 4-0 lead but the Redhawks fought back to grab an 8-7 advantage on an Ian Corella jumper with 14:14 left in the opening half. That was part of a 6-0 Simpson burst that gave the Redhawks a three-point lead 35 seconds later.
The Redhawks enjoyed a 15-11 lead on a Jordan Collins' jumper at the 10:44 mark but a Lance Reeves' (Visalia, CA) three-pointer keyed a quick 5-0 Mustang skein that Logan finished off with another jumper, putting the Mustangs back in front 16-15 with 9:07 remaining.
However, that slightest of margins lasted all of 13 seconds as the Redhawks vaulted ahead on a pair of free throws that triggered a decisive 6-0 run, handing the hosts a lead they would never relinquish.
More than five minutes later, the Redhawks reeled off six consecutive points, building their advantage to 10 points (34-24) for the first time, a margin they would enjoy twice more before another Reeves' trey right before the buzzer sliced the deficit to 37-30 at the half.
If there was one culprit during the first 20 minutes, it had to be the Mustangs' lack of marksmanship from the field as they managed just 31% accuracy. Logan (11) and Reeves (6) combined for 17 points to keep the Mustangs in the game.
The Redhawks extended the lead back into double figures (44-33) on a Collins' bucket with 17:38 left to play but a 9-2 Mustang burst, ignited by a Devin Dyer (Temecula, CA) three-point play, drew the visitors to within 46-42 less than four minutes later. Logan capped the run with a free throw and in between Leif Karlberg (Anchorage, AK) drained a three-pointer and Derrick Fain (Dallas, TX) hit a jumper.
The Mustangs would get as close as three points (50-47) on a Dyer basket with 11:30 remaining but they wouldn't be able to inch any closer as the Redhawks had an answer every time. Following Dyer's hoop, the Redhawks scored eight of the game's next 10 points to take a 58-49 lead with 7:32 left to play.
Four straight points from Dyer closed the gap to five points but the Redhawks countered with a 7-2 streak that built the lead (65-55) back into double figures on a Guy Varsek jumper with 4:38 showing on the clock.
That was the final double-digit advantage the Redhawks would enjoy but the effort it took to get there offset any type of late rush the Mustangs would make down the stretch. The Mustangs closed to within five points (67-62) on a Paul Brown (Kingston, Jamaica) jumper with 3:08 left but the Redhawks matched that with a pair of free throws on their next possession and never led by less than six points the rest of the way.
Not even a 20-point second-half performance by Dyer could rescue the Mustangs' from a poor-shooting night. After connecting on just over 30% of their shots in the first half, they only hit 33% over the final 20 minutes, finishing at 32%. On the other hand, the Redhawks managed 42% accuracy.
Dyer finished with a season-high 24 points and was joined in double figures by Logan who tallied a dozen more. Brown, who tore down a team-best eight rebounds, and Reeves chipped in with nine points apiece.
It will take a better shooting performance for the Mustangs to snap their losing skid when they close their two-game, Northern California road trip at William Jessup Saturday evening.