Playing its most complete game of the season, The Master’s College allowed No. 24 Fresno Pacific to hang around for a half and then methodically pulled away to a 73-54 win Tuesday evening in Bross Gym.
The victory moved the Mustangs to 11-3 on the season and more importantly, 3-0 in the GSAC where they share first place with the nation’s top-ranked team, Concordia.
With the exception of two modest runs by the Sunbirds, the Mustangs led the majority of the first half and throughout the entire second period en route to what turned out to be an easy win.
Keyed by a three-point basket from Anthony Cammon and a layup by Leif Karlberg, the Mustangs spurted to a 5-2 lead only to watch the Sunbirds respond with an 8-1 burst for a 10-6 lead with 14:39 remaining in the first half.
But, the Mustangs took that in stride and ripped off eight straight points to go up 14-10. The Cammon-Karlberg duo was at it again as the former drained two consecutive three-balls and Karlberg capped things off with another layup.
However, this game was far from over as the Sunbirds, down 18-14, with 9:00 left in the first half answered with an 8-0 skein in a 1:28 window to vault back in front 22-18.
Just as quickly, though, the Mustangs matched that, going on an 8-0 run in just over two minutes to take the lead for good. Freshman Chris Patureau fueled the burst with a layup and then Cammon drained another three followed by Mike Harmon’s three-point capper as the Mustangs went up 26-22.
The Mustangs led by as many as five (29-24) over the last five minutes of the half before settling for a 29-27 advantage at the break.
Cammon was perfect in a stellar first half, hitting all four of his attempts, three-pointers all, on the way to 12 points. The Mustangs went 6-11 from behind the arc in the first half.
The three-pointers kept raining down in the second half, too. These ones, though, would come almost primarily from Cammon’s backcourt mate, Karlberg. His first trey of the second period extended the Mustangs’ lead to 32-27 and his second capped off a 5-0 spurt that moved the club ahead to stay, 37-32.
Moments later, another trifecta from the junior sharpshooter was the igniter of another 5-0 skein, handing the Mustangs their largest lead to that point, 42-34. And, that was the beginning of the end for the Sunbirds.
Over the next two-plus minutes, the Mustangs would up the advantage to 10 points twice and then they put the game away with a 14-4 run over a five-minute stretch, bolting to a 62-46 advantage on a Devin Dyer jumper with 5:21 remaining.
Senior Anthony Wells fueled the run with a three-pointer, Karlberg added another from beyond the arc and Patureau added consecutive baskets. Eventually, the Mustangs led by as many as 19 points three times, including at the buzzer.
Karlberg, who went 5-9 from three-point country in the second half, led all scorers with 19 points while Cammon finished with 18 and a game-high seven assists. Patureau provided a huge spark off the bench with 14 points and Dyer chipped in with 13 more.
The Mustangs, who shot a sparkling 63% (17-27) from the floor in the second half, were 6-12 from behind the arc and finished the game 12-23 (52%).
Looking to keep their GSAC record unblemished, the Mustangs hit the road for their next two contests, starting with Saturday night’s game at Hope International in Fullerton.