December 29, 2012
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – In the fourth & final game of the Jersey Mike’s Holiday Classic, every available player on the Lady Mustangs’ roster saw valuable playing time in the 87-49 thrashing of UC Merced (1-11).
The lopsided victory maintained the Lady Mustangs' perfect season at 11-0, and furthered the squads’ best start to a season in program history.
The Bobcats drew first blood 47 seconds into play by a three-pointer, but was greeted with a trifecta delivered by Zoe Scott (Spokane, WA), and tied the game early at 3-3. A jumper by Adrienne Carmona put UCM up by two, but was quickly matched by TMC’s Jacquelyn Marshall (San Clemente, CA) who tied the game at 5-5 with a layup.
In fact, Carmona’s jumper at the 17:25 mark was their one and only lead for the day as the Lady Mustangs put the game out of reach shortly thereafter.
Marshall’s jumper ignited a torrential downpour of scoring as TMC embarked on a 16-4 run in the following seven minutes. In that time, Lady Mustang newcomer Nicole Nitake (Torrance, CA) was perfect behind the arc as the freshmen guard went 2-2 on three-pointers.
Nitake's double treys sparked another scoring run as the Lady Mustangs produced a 23-17 burst over the final 10-minute span of the first half. Scoring was shared across the board as jumpers from Marshall, the Rivera sisters (Allen, TX), & Kelly Burns (Yorba Linda, CA), layups by Theresa Brown (Eugene, OR) & Millie Rivera, three-pointers by Zoe Scott & Millie Rivera, and two free throws by Brown capped things off with a score of 47-26 at the half.
At intermission, Marshall and Brown led the squad with eight points each while Millie Rivera tacked on nine as the Lady Mustangs reached 50% on both shots (19-38) and three-pointers (6-12). Brown also led TMC’s defensive efforts with six rebounds.
In the opening five minutes of the second half, Best, Brown, and Lena Rivera gave the Mustangs a 30 point advantage over the Bobcats as TMC quickly reached a 58-28 lead. Zoe Scott extended TMC’s lead to 33 at the 15:48 mark as the junior guard nailed a three pointer and brought the Mustangs up 61-28.
For the remainder of the second half, the Lady Mustangs enjoyed a double-digit cushion due largely in part by Nicole Nitake. Nitake gave the Lady Mustangs their largest lead at the 2:40 mark, as the freshman notched her fifth three-pointer of the day giving TMC an 85-44 lead.
Nitake had her finest game of the 2012-13 campaign as the guard was 5-8 in shooting, 5-7 in three-pointers, and led the Lady Mustangs in scoring with 14 total points. Marshall finished the night with a team-high eight rebounds, while Lena Rivera, Theresa Brown, and Shannon Kingery (West Hills, CA) all finished the night with six rebounds apiece. Rivera also led the squad with six assists.
The Lady Mustangs look to continue their undefeated season in 2013 as the squad returns to the court on January 2 in a road game against CSU San Marcos (8-13). Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 PM.