November 9, 2013
Rocklin, CA -- Midway through the first half of Saturday's game against Oregon Tech, all indications pointed toward a second straight runaway win for The Master's College. The nation's 10th-ranked team had used an early run to take a commanding lead. Or so it seemed.
However, in a matter of eight minutes, the Owls turned the tables on the Mustangs, putting together a devestating skein that vaulted them into the lead for good and helped them to a 74-63 win at the Bill Holtz Warrior Classic in Rocklin. The loss evened the Mustangs' record at 1-1.
A day after using a similar strategy to put away Northwest Christian, the Mustangs fell victim to an Owl burst they never recovered from. Down 20-7 with just over nine minutes left in the first half, Oregon Tech ripped off 24 of the game's next 28 points to forge a 31-24 lead at the 1:49 mark. The Owls went to halftime ahead 33-27.
The Mustangs had built a good part of their early lead by outscoring the Owls 13-2 in the game's first five minutes. Whitney Best (Snohomish, WA) fueled the burst with a three-pointer, Jacquelyn Marshall (San Clemente, CA) added four points, and Zoe Scott (Spokane, WA) finished off the skein with a three-pointer. Megan Lindsley's (Vancouver, WA) basket in the paint with 9:40 remaining in the half gave the Mustangs their 13-point advantage.
Then the Owls took over and the Mustangs, who only trailed by six points at the break, never really threatened again. Neither club shot well in the opening half with the Mustangs converting just 29% of their shots while Oregon Tech was a shade better with 32% accuracy.
The Owls never led by less than their halftime margin the rest of the way, fending off the Mustangs at every opportunity. They took their first double-digit lead of the game, 45-35, at the 13:46 mark.
Following a Shannon Kingery (West Hills, CA) basket that sliced the deficit to eight points, the Owls retaliated with a 7-2 run, giving them their largest lead (52-39) of the game to that point with 10:16 remaining.
But, the Mustangs fought back, tearing off five consecutive points on a Nicole Nitake (Torrance, CA) trifecta and a Bianca Cubello (Riverside, CA) hoop to close within eight points less than a minute later.
That was as close as they would get, though, as the Owls ripped off a 10-4 skein in a four-minute window to extend their advantage to 62-48 with 3:52 left to play.
Over the final 20 minutes, the Mustangs improved their shooting efficiency to 39% and finished at 34% for the game.
For the second day in a row, Marshall paced all scorers, posting 20 points and taking down eight rebounds while Nitake came off the bench to score 11 more, including a 3-6 showing from behind the arc.
After starting the season in Northern California, the Mustangs return to Santa Clarita where they will open their home schedule on Thursday evening, hosting Bethesda in a 7:00pm start on Bross Court.