November 12, 2013
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. -- Derrick Fain poured in a game-high 23 points and DeRonn Scott missed a three-pointer at the buzzer as The Master's College withstood a furious rally by NCAA Division II No. 7 Cal Poly Pomona Tuesday evening, upsetting the Broncos 71-70 in a thriller on Bross Court.
The fourth win by the Mustangs in seven games between the two clubs lifted their record to 2-1 in the first week of the 2013-14 campaign.
Although the Mustangs led from the 13:42 mark in the first half on and built a 20-point lead (56-36) with nearly 15 minutes left in the game, they were really never comfortable until the final buzzer sounded. The reputation (a national championship in 2010) and the national ranking of the visitors had something to do with that as the Broncos started to chip away at the deficit.
It started with a 13-2 run fueled by a Ryan Hall jumper at the 14:49 mark and was capped off by a Quentin Taylor free throw more than three minutes later, narrowing the Mustang lead to 58-49 with 11:04 left in the game.
A Zach Stalin (Bellingham, WA) jumper 29 seconds later briefly interrupted the run but the Broncos kept charging. Down 62-51 with 8:33 remaining, they reeled off seven straight points in a 3:30 span to close to within four on a Scott three-pointer.
However, the Mustangs answered back more definitively this time with Jason Logan (Spartanburg, SC) scoring six of his 17 points, all right around the rim, in less than two minutes, expanding the lead to 68-61.
The victory wasn't secure just yet. The Broncos ripped off four straight points and after a Fain (Dallas, TX) three-pointer, his last of seven on the evening, gave the Mustangs a 71-65 advantage, the visitors scored the contest's final five points and a had a chance to complete a remarkable comeback only to watch Scott's three-point attempt clank off the rim, setting off a collective sigh of relief throughout the gym.
Although the Mustangs struggled over the final 13 minutes, they played marvelous ball until that point.
After falling behind 7-2 in the first two minutes of play, they started to find the range and shot at their best clip of the young season, turning a deficit into a double-digit lead over the next 11 minutes.
Fain was the primary instigator but he wasn't alone, especially from behind the arc. The junior guard drained four trifectas in that span and he was joined by Stalin and Reid Shackelford (Murrieta, CA) from long range with the latter finishing off a 17-6 burst, his only trey of evening at the 6:32 mark making it a 32-19 game.
The Mustangs enjoyed their largest lead of the first half (39-24) when Chris Patureau (Houston, TX) converted a three-point play with 1:38 left and went to the break ahead 42-30.
Paced by Fain's 5-10 shooting, including a 4-8 showing from behind the arc, and 14 points, the Mustangs shot a sparkling 57% (16-28) from the floor in the first half.
That accuracy continued into the first five minutes of the closing stanza as the Broncos had no answer for Fain and his teammates, at least during that stretch. Consecutive threes by Fain and another from Stalin ignited a 14-3 burst that Logan finished off with a three-point play for that 20-point lead with 14:59 remaining.
Finding the basket the rest of the way became a challenge for the Mustangs who shot 40% (12-30) over the final 20 minutes and finished at a solid 48% mark.
The majority (21 points) of Fain's game-high total came on 7-14 shooting from behind the arc while Logan did his damage on the inside, going 8-14 en route to 17 points. Stalin, making his first start in the blue and gold, demonstrated the ability to hit from the outside and bulldoze his way inside, finishing with 16 points and a game-high six rebounds.
After playing three games in five days, the Mustangs will enjoy a few days off before welcoming Pacific Union to Bross Court on Saturday evening. The ball will go up at 7:00pm.