By Jonathan Wais, For TMC Sports Information
February 4, 2015
SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — In a rare Wednesday night game, another opportunity to defeat a highly ranked team fell out of the reach of The Master’s College men’s basketball team in front of a lively crowd at Bross Court.
TMC gave up an early lead and yielded the game late to the California State University San Marcos Cougars as the Mustangs fell 80-75.
The non-conference loss drops the Mustangs’ record to 7-14 overall.
San Marcos came in ranked No. 1 in the 2014-15 NAIA Division 1 Coaches’ Top 25 Poll. Both their ranking and resolve was tested by the upset-minded Mustangs.
Russell Byrd (Santa Clarita, CA) and Chris Patureau (Houston, TX) led the Mustangs with 18 points each, while Reid Shackelford (Murrieta, CA) added 12 points in the loss.
The evening started well for TMC with early success due largely to Patureau’s 10 points in the first half and good rebounding by the team as a whole.
It was enough to open up a 26-12 Mustang lead with 9:47 left to go in the first half. The Cougars responded with a 9-0 run to close the gap with 6:02 left until halftime.
The Mustangs snapped the Cougar run with a free throw from Byrd who had eight points in the first stanza. The team held their own in the remaining minutes and stifled the Cougars attempt to score with their last possession of the half. At the break, TMC led CSUSM 39-32.
The Cougars clawed their way back in the second stanza and eventually evened the score at 49-all with 12:26 left in the game. During the next four minutes, the Mustangs pulled ahead only to be caught from behind again by a San Marcos three-pointer that tied the game 57-all.
The Blue and Gold took the lead once again with a Korey Anderson (Clovis, CA) layup, but were down by two at the 5:45 mark after another three-pointer by the Cougars.
The Mustangs were unable to regain the lead.
A 10-0 run by San Marcos distanced them from TMC for good with 2:59 left in the game.
But the Mustangs were determined to come back.
TMC purposely fouled CSUSM with 0.52 seconds left. After several missed Cougar free throws and three-pointers by Evan Jenkins (Los Angeles, CA) and Shackelford, the Mustangs were down three points with 21 seconds left.
Two successful free throws by the Cougars with 0.08 left finally put the game out of the Mustangs reach and notched the final score at 80-75.
It was a hard fought loss by the Mustangs who now look to rebound against Westmont at Bross Court on Saturday, February 7th. TMC will host its annual Stampede event by inviting faculty, staff, students, alumni and prospective students to cheer on the Mustangs. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m..