Although the game didn’t count for or against its 2011-12 record, The Master’s College men’s basketball team treated Wednesday night’s exhibition contest against Grand Canyon every bit as much as a regular season game.
Putting up a solid battle against the NCAA Division II (soon to be DI) Antelopes, the Mustangs led only once before falling 77-70 in Phoenix.
That one lead came 53 seconds into action when senior guard Anthony Cammon laid one in after a steal by Devin Dyer. The Lopes countered with a 6-0 run and were not headed again.
However, it wasn’t like the Mustangs just fell apart. They hung around until about the 13-minute mark when Grand Canyon scored 11 consecutive points en route to a 28-13 advantage. The lead grew to a half-high 17 points (32-15) before the Mustangs closed the half with a strong effort, ripping off a 13-4 run to close to 43-39 at the break.
They made it a two-point game 27 seconds into the second half when Dyer scored on a layup. Not quite able to come back all the way, the Mustangs didn’t trail by more than nine points (76-67) the rest of the way and that came with under a minute to play.
In between, the Mustangs rallied from a 59-51 deficit to pull within two points (64-62) on a Mike Harmon three-pointer with 5:29 remaining. It was the freshman guard’s second trey in less than a minute. But that was as close as the Mustangs would get as the Lopes pulled away at the line, converting seven free throws in the final 1:48.
Dyer paced three Mustangs in double figures with 17 points. Cammon tossed in 13 more and Leif Karlberg finished with 10 points.
The Mustangs return to regular-season action and Bross Gym on Saturday evening when they host Lewis & Clark from Oregon in a 7:00 tip-off.