November 16, 2012
Santa Clarita, CA - Fueled by a decisive run midway through the first half and the acrobatic play of transfer Jason Logan, The Master's College powered past UC Merced 75-60 Friday evening before a partisan crowd in Bross Gym.
It was a solid bounce-back win for the Mustangs (4-1) after they dropped their first game of the season Tuesday evening at Cal Poly Pomona.
The winless Bobcats (0-6) put up a good fight in the early going with no more than four points separating the squads through the first 11 minutes of play. That window of action featured four ties and six lead changes, the last of which was the beginning of a 10-0 burst that put the Mustangs ahead to stay.
After falling behind 16-14 with 13:14 left in the first half and going scoreless for 4:42, a Derrick Fain (Dallas, TX) jumper knotted the score at the 10:02 mark and set the Mustangs galloping away to a 24-16 advantage in less than two minutes. Four of Fain's teammates joined in the run, including Logan, who scored on a layup, and Devin Dyer whose (Temecula, CA) free throws capped it off.
The Bobcats converted a free throw to end the skein but the Mustangs bolted again, outscoring the visitors 13-5 over a 3:41 span to surge ahead 37-22. Dyer started the burst with a basket, Logan Quinn (Little Rock, AR), starting in place of Monice Garrett (Houston, TX) at the point, added a three-pointer along the way, and sophomore transfer Korey Anderson (Clovis, CA) finished it off with a three-point play at the 3:41 mark.
Not content with their comfortable lead, the Mustangs closed out the first half in high-octane fashion, ripping off a 13-2 run over the final 2:53 to take a 50-27 advantage into the locker room. Sophomore Chris Patureau's layup got the team going one more time and Leif Karlberg (Anchorage, AK) finished things off with five straight points, featuring a three-pointer. In between, Patureau, Logan, and Lance Reeves (Visalia, CA) added layups.
Shooting a sparkling 62% from the field (18-29) over the opening 20 minutes, the Mustangs were led by Dyer's 10 points and Logan's eight. They held the Bobcats to just 23% accuracy.
Coming out of intermission, the Mustangs continued to pour it on, tallying the first five points of the second half on a Karlberg trifecta and two more Dyer free throws. A Logan three-pointer with 17:29 left to play doubled the advantage (58-29) and the Mustangs cruised the rest of the way.
That didn't mean that there wasn't anymore exciting basketball left to watch. Logan made sure of that. Fast becoming a highlight-reel performer, the talented junior wowed the Bross Gym crowd with a two-handed power dunk at the 10:34 mark, extending the Mustang lead to 64-38. That was just Logan's second-best jam of the evening. The first came on a thunderous, tomahawk slam in the opening half that was waved off on an offensive foul call.
Following a two-handed dunk by Paul Brown (Kingston, Jamaica) for a 68-38 lead with 9:01 remaining, the Mustangs appeared to lose interest, scoring only seven points down the stretch while the Bobcats more than tripled that output, highlighted by a game-ending 14-0 run.
After shooting so accurately in the first half, the Mustangs cooled down to 36% in the second stanza, finishing at 51% for the game. Karlberg, who drained four three-pointers, paced the Mustangs with 16 points while Logan added 15 more and a game-high 11 rebounds. Dyer was the only other Mustang in double figures, tallying 12 points.
The Mustangs will have little time to enjoy this win as they travel to the Central Coast on Saturday evening to take on NCAA Division I UC Santa Barbara in an exhibition. After enjoying a couple of days off for Thanksgiving, the squad will be back in action next Friday and Saturday at the David Wells Classic in Claremont.