December 14, 2013
Santa Clarita, CA -- Displaying no ill effects of playing 24 hours before, The Master's College took an early lead and never looked back in a methodical, 71-60 whipping of Bethesda Saturday evening in Bross Gym.
Playing their final game before the Christmas break, the Mustangs extended their winning streak to a season-high six games and upped their record to 9-2.
Trailing 8-7 a little over three minutes into play, the Mustangs, paced by Korey Anderson (Clovis, CA) and Derrick Fain (Dallas, TX) ripped off 10 straight points in a 2:16 window to move in front for good. Anderson, making his second start in as many nights, scored the go-ahead basket on a layup, Jason Logan (Spartanburg, SC) put one in off the glass, and Fain hit consecutive three-pointers for a 17-8 lead at the 13:51 mark of the opening half.
That was just the start of better things, too. After a Flame trifecta snapped the skein, the Mustangs took off again, scoring the game's next 12 points to take a commanding 29-11 advantage. Logan ignited the run with a layup, Bernard Ireland (Victorville, CA) buried back-to-back treys, Anderson scored on a layup, and Zach Stalin (Bellingham, WA) capped it off with two free tosses.
The Mustangs continued to pour it on, extending the advantage to a game-high 24 points (40-16) on a Reid Shackelford (Murrieta, CA) layup with 4:17 left in the half. That finished off an 11-2 run that Stalin started with a layup and contributed a three-pointer to while Anderson and Logan added baskets, as well.
Rocked by a trio of Mustang runs, the Flames were about to go out until a late, 7-0 burst drew them to within 40-23 at the break. A night after convering 54% of their first-half shots against Simpson, the Mustangs were just a tad below that against the Flames, hitting at a 53.6% clip while holding the visitors to 29% accuracy. Ireland paced the Mustangs with nine first-half points while Anderson and Fain had six apiece.
That late, first-half Bethesda run carried over into the first two minutes of the second half as they scored six quick points, capping off what turned out to be a 13-0 run bridging the halves, to make a game of it at 40-29 with 18 minutes still left to play.
However, that would be as close as they would get as the Mustangs answered with seven straight points on a Stalin three-point play, a Logan dunk, and a Shackelford layup, extending the lead to 18 points (47-29) at the 15:27 mark.
With the exception of the final margin, the closest the Flames got was 12 points on a pair of occasions and each time they did so, the Mustangs had a response that made the outcome inevitable. A Dominique Lanier (Lakewood, CA) three-pointer with 11:12 remaining made it a 58-40 game and that advantage was enjoyed twice more as the Mustangs created some valuable space.
In the game's final five minutes, the margin reached 19 points three times, once on a Logan free throw, the other on a Stalin layup, and finally, a Fain layup made it 71-52 at the 3:45 mark. As they did in the closing minutes of the first stanza, the Flames rallied late, scoring the game's final nine points but by then it was all over.
Stalin paced three Mustangs in double figures, posting a game-high 15 points while Anderson and Fain scored 12 apiece. It was a season-high for Anderson, who also had two blocks and four assists in a fine, all-around performance. One night after notching a double-double, Logan just missed another one, scoring nine points while yanking down 10 rebounds, helping the Mustangs to a 35-29 advantage on the boards.
The Mustangs will have to wait more than two weeks now before attempting to extend their winning streak since they don't play again until December 30 when they tangle with Mt. Marty of South Dakota on the first day of the Embassy Suites Classic hosted by Arizona Christian in Phoenix.