Mustangs Use Strong First Half To Win Season Opener
Eugene, Ore - The 2011-2012 Mustang men's basketball season tipped off Thursday night in Eugene, Ore. with Master's defeating a pesky host in Northwest Christian 68-63 at the Morse Center.
A trio of Mustangs were in double figures in scoring, led by junior guard Devin Dyer’s 12 points. Senior forward Anthony Wells had 11 points (on five of five shooting), as did freshman Jon Hogan who started in his very first game wearing the blue and gold.
Senior point guard Anthony Cammon, starting at point for the first time in his TMC career kept the offense moving with five assists against only two turnovers. Cammon also added nine points.
NCU took brief leads of 17-15 and 19-18 just past the midway point of the first half before Coach Chuck Martin’s team went on a 23-5 run over the final 7:57 of the half, giving the Mustangs a 17-point lead at the intermission.
Master’s attacked the basket early waiting for the perimeter shooting to warm up. Warm up it did late in the half as jump shots on three consecutive possessions by Cammon, Hogan, and Cammon again extended a one possession game into an eight point TMC lead.
Freshman Mike Harmon substituted and contributed to the run by hitting a jumper with 2:00 remaining and then following it up with a 3-pointer off a Leif Karlberg-steal.
Martin commented his team “was terrific the last 10 minutes of the half.’
The Mustangs shot 51.5 percent from the field in the first half, but went cold in the second as the Beacons were determined to protect their home court.
Northwest Christian started the second half on a 10-0 run, ensuring the game would be a fight to the finish. Twice in the half, NCU cut the Master’s lead to four, once with 13:50 to play on a Trevor Parker jump shot, and again in the final minute of the game.
TMC faced some significant scoring droughts in the half, including the final 10 minutes of the game where the Mustangs scored only nine points. While the shooting during the half was poor, the good news for Martin’s squad though is it only turned the ball over twice over that same stretch.
Consistency shooting the ball will come with time and game conditioning, but the Mustangs continued a good habit from a year ago when they were solid in protecting the basketball.
One area Martin would like to see improvement from his squad is from the foul line where it made only nine of 19. Given the scare of NCU getting back into a game that for all intents and purposes should have resulted in a TMC blowout victory, Martin stated, “We let a game get close. We can’t let that happen.”
The Mustangs continue their stay in Eugene with a game at New Hope on Saturday at 7:00 pm.