February 12, 2013
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Three weeks ago, the Lady Mustangs were ranked No. 8 in the NAIA, undefeated at 17-0 & 4-0 in the Golden State Athletic Conference, and tied for first place with the then-No. 9 Westmont in conference standings. The Warriors changed that on January 22nd in Bross Gymnasium where they delivered the Lady Mustangs their first loss of the season at 68-57.
Since then, the Lady Mustangs have produced five wins and three losses, bringing their overall record to 22-4, and 7-4 in GSAC play. Unfortunately, each loss has been against conference opponents, and plants The Master’s College in third place, one seat in front of San Diego Christian (15-12, 7-3 GSAC), and trailing No. 7 Vanguard (18-2, 9-2 GSAC).
As it often does, history repeated itself Tuesday night in Santa Barbara as the newly minted No. 6 nationally ranked Warriors topped the No. 11 Lady Mustangs 77-66, and extended their overall record to 20-2 and 10-0 in conference play. The win also gives the Warriors solid possession of the Golden State Athletic Conference.
The loss didn’t come without effort as the Lady Mustangs controlled the floor for the first 15 minutes of play. TMC’s largest lead of the night came early when Whitney Best (Snohomish, WA) drove in a layup putting the Lady Mustangs up 12-6 with 16:55 left to play. But the Warriors’ offense continued to chip away at the Lady Mustangs struggling defense in the following ten minutes, and took the lead when Esther Lee sank a three-pointer, giving Westmont a 28-27 advantage. Lee’s trey sparked a 15-6 run in favor of the Warriors, bringing the score to 43-33 at the break.
Any hopes of half-time slowing down the Warriors were quickly dashed as Lee opened up the second stanza with another three-pointer putting Westmont up 46-33. From there, things escaladed quickly as the Warriors strategically picked apart the Lady Mustangs defense, forcing them to face a 20 point deficit- their largest of the season. Lee struck again and twisted the knife at the 3:44 mark, posting a 77-57 lead for the Warriors. The Lady Mustangs managed to rattle off nine more points, bringing the final score to 77-66 at the buzzer.
“We must learn the importance of defending,” assessed Lady Mustang head coach Dan Waldeck. “Tonight, we didn’t defend at all.”
A silver lining to Tuesday’s loss was the numbers that Jacquelyn Marshall (San Clemente, CA) put up for the Lady Mustangs. Marshall earned a double-double with a team high 17 points and 10 rebounds. Lena Rivera (Allen, TX) followed with 14 points and 7 rebounds.
If the Lady Mustangs don’t rebound quickly at Saturday’s 5:30 PM road game against San Diego Christian, their post-season picture has the potential to get cloudier as they are slated to finish their regular season schedule with matchups against No. 7 Vanguard, and Hope International.
GSAC Women’s Basketball News:
In other GSAC action, Hope International stunned Biola 55-50, San Diego Christian demolished Arizona Christian 93-38, while Vanguard defeated Concordia 86-55.