Dyer, Mustangs Crown Royals
Devin Dyer scored all of TMC’s eight points in overtime and The Master’s College escaped Fullerton Saturday evening with a 59-58 squeaker over Hope International.
The victory was the squad’s fourth in their past five games and improved them to 12-3 overall and 4-0 in the GSAC. Coupled with Biola’s win over top-ranked Concordia, the victory moved the Mustangs into sole possession of first place in the conference.
Dyer, who has really struggled over the past month, seemed to be the right man in the right place all evening long for the Mustangs, playing his best game of the season. He scored the club’s first two points of the game, the last two points of regulation, and, of course, all eight in the overtime.
His layup with 2:23 left in regulation knotted the game at 51 and eventually forced overtime when neither team could dent the scoreboard the rest of the way.
The scoring drought continued for both team through the first minute of the extra period until Dyer snapped the tie with a jumper at the 3:59 mark. Less than a minute later, he put the Mustangs up by four with another hoop and when he converted both free throws with 2:24 remaining, the Mustangs had forged a 57-51 advantage.
The Royals finally snapped a scoreless skein that had reached nearly six minutes on a Steve Jurich layup with 1:56 left, slicing the deficit to 57-53. Following a pair of Mustang turnovers, the Royals crept closer, pulling to within 57-55 on a pair of Kris Rosales charity tosses with 36 seconds showing on the clock.
But, out of a Mustang timeout, Dyer wasted little time, giving the Mustangs their four-point lead back on a dunk that proved to be the game-winner. Jeremy Kilgore’s three-point play with 28 ticks left made it a one-point game and the Royals had two shots left in the closing seconds but Jurich and Kilgore both missed and the Mustangs survived.
Dyer, who went 8-12 from the field en route to 19 points, shared game-high scoring honors with teammate Anthony Cammon.
Early on, Dyer’s only four points of the first half propelled the Mustangs to a 6-2 lead. The Mustangs clung to the lead and when Anthony Wells tallied all five points in a 5-0 surge, the club raced to a 13-6 advantage with 10:45 remaining in the first half.
Following a Mike Harmon jumper at the 9:59 mark that kept the margin at seven points (15-8), the Royals made their first move of the evening, reeling off 11 consecutive points to go up by four with 5:53 remaining in the half.
Less than three minutes later, though, the game was tied as Lance Reeves led a modest 4-0 spurt with a three-pointer and Paul Brown tied the contest at 19 with a free throw at the 3:06 mark.
After the teams traded baskets, the Royals used a pair of three-pointers to take their largest lead (27-21) to that point before settling for a 28-23 halftime edge.
Neither team was particularly accurate over the opening 20 minutes with the hosts connecting on just 33% of their shots while the Mustangs were a little better at 38.5%. Wells provided a huge spark off the bench, scoring all nine of his points in the first half.
Coming out of halftime, the Royals seemed to take control, opening with a 6-2 spurt for a 34-25 advantage at the 17:14 mark.
The Mustangs quickly responded, tearing off six straight points to close within three. Cammon, who had a big second half with 15 points, scored the club’s first five points of the period and when Dyer buried a three-pointer with 15:17 remaining, the Mustangs had closed to 34-31.
But, the Royals kept the Mustangs at arm’s length until the final five minutes, leading by as many as seven points on two occasions and clinging to a 47-43 lead at the 6:21 mark.
That’s when Cammon took over while eventually setting things up for Dyer. The senior tallied six consecutive points, tying the game at 47 and then again 49 (3:55 remaining).
The Royals reclaimed the lead, 51-49, on a Kilgore jumper with 2:42 left but then the Mustang defense flexed its muscles, holding the hosts scoreless until deep into overtime while Dyer wound up scoring his club’s final 10 points to pull out the win.
Off to their best start since joining the GSAC in 2001, the Mustangs will put their undefeated conference record on the line Tuesday when they travel to Concordia for an early-season showdown with the No. 1 Eagles.
Around the GSAC on January 7th
Point Loma Nazarene 70, Fresno Pacific (H) 64
Biola (H) 83, Concordia 68
Westmont (H) 86, San Diego Christian 61
Azusa Pacific 67, Vanguard (H) 63
The Masters 59, Hope International (H) 58 (ot)