November 16, 2013
Santa Clarita, CA -- Dominique Lanier scored a game-high 15 points and three teammates scored in double fgures, too, as The Master's College shrugged off an upset bid by Pacific Union, downing the visiting Pioneers 71-55 Saturday evening on Bross Court.
The win, coming four days after the Mustangs stunned NCAA Division II No. 7 Cal Poly Pomona, elevated the club's record to 3-1.
Sparked by a game-opening three-pointer from Bernard Ireland (Victorville, CA) and a pair of free throws by Lanier (Lakewood, CA), the Mustangs raced to a 5-0 lead and by all appearances looked to be well on their way to keeping the Pioneers winless in five starts.
But, the visitors had other ideas, draining a trio of three-pointers in a 2 1/2-minute span to go in front 9-7 with 14:48 left in the first half. Ireland and Lanier responded, though, combining for five straight points to vault the Mustangs back in front. That set the tone for the next 5 1/2 minutes when no more than three points separated the clubs and four lead changes were featured.
However, the last of those lead changes proved to be decisive and senior Jason Logan (Spartanburg, SC) led the way. The jumping-jack guard canned a jumper with 8:07 remaining to give the Mustangs a 20-19 and the next time down the court he grabbed a Lanier miss and slammed home a crowd-pleasing dunk, all part of a 15-3 burst that put the Mustangs ahead to stay. Redshirt freshman Reid Shackelford (Murrieta, CA), starting in place of Derrick Fain who was nursing a sore ankle, capped off the run with the first of his three trifectas for a 33-22 advantage at the 4:40 mark of the opening half.
The Pioneers, who started the game strong from behind the arc, closed the half in the same way but not even a pair of treys down the stretch could get the visitors closer than eight points as the Mustangs went to halftime ahead 38-30.
The Mustangs shot a solid 48% (15-31) from the field over the opening 20 minutes while Pacific Union's six three-pointers kept them within striking distance. Logan and Lanier paced the Mustangs with 10 points apiece.
Logan converted a pair of free throws to push the advantage back into double figures in the opening minutes of the second half but a quick 5-0 skein (40-35) by the Pioneers reminded the Mustangs and a partisan crowd that they weren't going away without a fight.
They got that in a three-minute window when the Mustangs tore off 11 of the game's next 13 points to extend the margin to 14 points (51-37) with 13:49 left to play. Anderson got things rolling with a free throw and capped off the run with a tip-in but it was a pair of Shackelford three-pointers in between that really fueled the run.
This time, the Pioneers really had no answer as the Mustangs not only kept a double-digit lead the rest of the way but they increased it to as many as 20 points (62-42) on a Zach Stalin (Bellingham, WA) layup with 8:17 remaining.
There was no definitive run by the Pioneers in the closing minutes although they carved the deficit to as few as 13 points (64-51) at the 4:32 mark. Shackelford answered back, scoring four points while Lanier added a free throw to boost the advantage to 69-54. Ireland closed out the evening with a gliding dunk off a Lanier pass with less a minute to play to put an exclamation point on the victory.
Lanier's game-high point total came from 5-11 shooting from the field and 5-7 from the line, and he also dished out a team-best three assists. Ireland, who leads the club with 11 three-pointers, added two more on the way to 14 points while Shackelford and Logan, who also yanked down nine rebounds, finished with 13 points apiece.
Stalin and Anderson were forces on the boards, taking down 11 and 10 caroms, respectively, to lead the club's 46-30 rebounding advantage.
The Mustangs, who have yet to play a road game, stay home on Tuesday evening when they'll welcome Claremont for a 7:00pm start.