Best, Scott Rally Mustangs Past Cougars
Zoe Scott and Whitney Best combined for 22 second-half points to rally The Master’s College past visiting Cal State San Marcos 57-47 Tuesday evening in Bross Gym.
Winning for the fourth time in their past five outings, the Mustangs improved to 6-4.
Best and Scott’s big second half was aided by a stingy defense that held the Cougars to just 31% accuracy from the field. Meanwhile, the Mustangs overcame a poor shooting first half with a 54% showing over the final 20 minutes to pull away for the win.
Down 22-18 at halftime, the Mustangs tied the game at 27 with 16:44 left to play when Scott converted a pair of free throws. Less than a minute later, Kristen Huff hit one of two free throws to give the Mustangs their first lead since the 17-minute mark of the opening half.
Although the Cougars answered with a go-ahead basket (29-28), it was just a matter of time before the Mustangs started to benefit from a shut-down defense and an opportunistic offense. Following a 3½-minute scoring drought, Best tallied baskets on consecutive possessions and Scott capped off a 7-2 spurt with a three-pointer that put the Mustangs ahead for good, 35-31.
The Cougars countered with a Sidney Dobner three-ball but it was only their seventh point in almost seven minutes as the Mustang defense took its toll.
No more than four points separated the clubs as the clock wound toward the eight-minute mark and when Morgan Schwegler scored on a layup with 6:58 remaining, the Mustangs had their largest lead of the game, 44-38. Millie Rivera knocked down a pair of free throws on the next possession to make it an eight-point margin but the Cougars weren’t dead yet.
With Dobner hitting three free throws, the visitors ripped off a 5-0 spurt to pull within 46-43 at the 4:20 mark. But, Scott scored on a layup and Schwegler duplicated that to push the advantage back to seven points with 2:42 showing on the clock.
That proved to be decisive as the Cougars got no closer than five points the rest of the way. That margin (52-47) came after Justine Chacon buried a pair of free throws at the 1:40 mark but the Mustang defense didn’t give up anything the rest of the way while Lena Rivera and Scott combined for five free throws down the stretch.
All of this was a welcome sight to Coach Dan Waldeck and his Mustangs following a first half that he’d like to forget. The Mustangs led only once with a number of scoring droughts being the culprit. Fortunately, the Cougars didn’t fare much better and the Mustangs trailed by just four at the break.
Scott’s 16 points (4-7 from the field, 2-4 from behind the arc) paced the Mustangs while Best finished with 14 and a game-high four assists. Schwegler and Lena Rivera chipped in with eight points apiece and grabbed a team-best five rebounds apiece.
Hoping to make it two in a row and win their first GSAC game of the year, the club will host Biola Saturday evening. Game time in Bross Gym is set for 5:30pm.