December 13, 2014
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – What a week it has been for The Master’s College women’s basketball team.
After traveling to Santa Barbara and taking down the 11th-ranked Westmont College Warriors on Thursday with a dramatic 70-67 victory, the 20th-ranked Lady Mustangs upended the NAIA’s third-best team, Vanguard University, Saturday night at Bross Court in a 71-64 decision.
With the win, the Lady Mustangs’ 2014-15 record improves to 8-3 and 2-1 in GSAC play. Notably, Saturday’s game marked the fifth time in the last month that the Lady Mustangs have played a team ranked among the top 20 teams in the NAIA.
From tipoff, the Lions kept the Lady Mustangs on their toes as Vanguard never let TMC break a tie for a lead during the entirety of the first half. In fact, Vanguard’s largest lead of the night (11 points) came at the 5:46 mark when Riley Holsinger put the Lions up 28-17 off a pair of free throws. However, over the course of the remaining five minutes in the first half, the Lady Mustangs rallied back and cut Vanguard’s lead to 35-33.
With Holsinger pacing them with sixteen points, Vanguard’s two-point advantage carried into the break. Whitney Best led TMC in scoring with seven points. At the half, TMC went 11-29 from the field, 4-10 behind the arc, and 7-9 on free throw attempts.
After the break, TMC resiliently posted a 7-5 run which tied the game at 40-40 with 17:31 left to play. 30 seconds later, Best scored on a layup, giving TMC its first lead of the night at 42-40. Best’s layup turned the tide for the Lady Mustangs as TMC led Vanguard for the rest of the evening with an advantage spanning from one to seven points. TMC held on to its lead and finished the night with a 71-64 victory.
Best led the Lady Mustangs in scoring with 16 points while Megan Lindsley followed with 12. Arianna Hanson (Santa Rosa, CA) led TMC in rebounds by grabbing 14, while Best tallied 11. TMC finished the night by going 23-58 from the field, 10-21 on three-pointer attempts, and 15-19 from the charity stripe.
“I’m very proud of the way that we finished this first part of our schedule,” remarked head coach Dan Waldeck. “We’ve played five teams ranked in the NAIA’s top 20 throughout our first 11 games. With eight of them being on the road, I am pleased with our progress. Mostly, I’m thankful for the team’s character and togetherness. We want others who watch us to see our Christ-like unity, and I’m thankful for my team’s commitment to the things that matter most.”
Now, the Lady Mustangs will take over two weeks off and return to play on Tuesday, December 30, when they play South Dakota School of Mines & Technology at the 2014 Jersey Mike’s Holiday Classic. Tipoff is set for 2:00 PM at Bross Court.
“We’ll enjoy the two weeks off by getting some much-needed rest,” further assessed Waldeck. “We look forward to getting refreshed with family, and then returning late in the month and pick up where we left off.”