Too Much Royalty For Mustangs

January 20, 2015

Fullerton, Calif. -- For one half Tuesday evening, The Master's College did an effective job of caging the beast that is Hope International.  However, in the second stanza, the No. 4 Royals broke loose and ran past the Mustangs 81-74 in a GSAC matchup.

Three days after losing their first game of the season, the Royals appeared to be stuck in the throes of that defeat while the Mustangs (6-11, 1-6 GSAC) were making the case for being better than what their record indicated.

Trailing 5-3 in the first two minutes, the Mustangs vaulted ahead with a 6-2 run on the strength of consecutive three-pointers from Chris Patureau (Houston, TX) and Reid Shackelford (Murrieta, CA).  When the Royals knotted the game at nine-all, Russell Byrd (Santa Clarita, CA) drained a three-pointer and Shackelford added a jumper for a 14-9 lead with 15:17 left in the half.

That pattern continued throughout most of the opening 20 minutes.  The Mustangs would create some separation, the Royals would draw closer, and the Mustangs would extend the advantage again.  When the Royals caught the Mustangs at 27-all, a Byrd free throw and a Patureau jumper gave the visitors a three-point edge.

The Royals caught and passed the Mustangs three times in a 1:42 window near the five-minute mark of the half before the Mustangs closed the stanza with a 6-1 burst that carried them to a 40-36 lead at the break.  Byrd keyed it with a jumper, Patureau added a layup, and Korey Anderson's (Clovis, CA) jumper closed out a 10-point half that finished with the Mustangs shooting a superb 59% from the field.

The first-half trend continued through the initial eight minutes of the closing stanza as the Mustangs turned back the Royals every time they drew close, gaining a couple (44-39 and 46-41) of five-point edges along the way.

However, that all started to change with 12 minutes left to play when the Royals earned their first lead (51-50) since the 4:07 mark of the first half and then extended it to 58-51, part of a decisive 11-1 run that put the hosts ahead to stay.

The advantage grew to double digits (66-55) at the 8:24 mark and was still a comfortable 73-63 margin before the Mustangs made one final rush.  Down 76-65 with 2:17 left to play, the Mustangs used five straight points from Shackelford to draw within six and then sliced the deficit to 79-74 on an Evan Jenkins' layup with 30 seconds remaining.

However, that was as close as the Mustangs would get as the Royals sank two free throws to dash any hopes of an incredible comeback.

After displaying excellent accuracy from the field in the first half, the Mustangs cooled off in the second stanza, shooting at a 44% clip to finish at 52% (26-50).

In defeat, Anderson was outstanding, tying Byrd for team-high honors with 17 points while tearing down a career-high 16 rebounds for his first double-double of the campaign.  Patureau chipped in with 13 points and seven rebounds while Shackelford finished with 12 points.

After a few days off, the Mustangs go back on the road Saturday, traveling to La Mirada to take on Biola.