Vanquished by Vanguard

January 29, 2013

Box Score:

COSTA MESA, Calif. – The No. 9 nationally ranked Master’s College women’s basketball team took to the road to face the No. 4 nationally ranked Vanguard Lions. At stake was sole possession, if only temporary, of the second place seat in the Golden State Athletic Conference.

The Lady Mustangs and the Lions entered into Tuesday’s match each having one loss on their overall and conference records. Coincidentally enough, each loss was to conference opponent Westmont (16-3, 7-0 GSAC).  However, all this changed as Vanguard narrowly defeated the Lady Mustangs with a final score of 69-65.

The loss now gives the Lady Mustangs a 19-2 overall record, and puts them in third place in the GSAC with a conference record of 5-2.

The evening began with Vanguard (15-1, 6-1 GSAC) taking an early lead, forcing the Lady Mustangs to play catch-up for the better part of the first half.  It wasn’t until a three-pointer by Kimmy Iverson (San Marcos, CA) gave the Lady Mustangs a single point advantage at 24-23 with 8:30 left to play.

The Lions roared back with two jumpers, before Iverson answered with another trey, tying things at 27-27.  A minute later, Iverson threw up yet another three-pointer, giving the Lady Mustangs a short-lived lead at 30-28.  But an outstanding 11-2 run on part of the Lions’ offense carried The Pride into the half, challenging the Lady Mustangs to figure out a way to overcome their seven point deficit.

At intermission, Iverson claimed 11 points (nine of which came behind the arc) while Jacquelyn Marshall (San Clemente, CA) followed with 10 more.  Kelly Burns (Yorba Linda) yanked down four rebounds, while Lena Rivera (Allen, TX) threw in four assists.  The Lady Mustangs ended the first half with a 37% (12-31) accuracy on total field goals, while Vanguard posted a dazzling 50% (17-34).

The second stanza opened up with Vanguard posting a 6-2 run before Zoe Scott (Spokane, WA) nailed a jumper at the 16:35 mark, bringing the score to 45-36.  The next 15 minutes resembled a rollercoaster as the Lions placed an 11 point cushion between them and the Lady Mustangs on five separate occasions.

The Lady Mustangs didn’t go down without a fight as they cut the Lions’ lead to three on two separate occasions.  With four minutes left on the clock, the Lady Mustangs made up for lost time with an 11-0 run, championed by Scott who contributed eight points (six of which came behind the arc).

With the game tied at 65-65, the Lady Mustangs made it clear that they were still in the fight. However, four points off of free throws from Vanguards’ Esther Timmermans and Nicole Ballestero gave the Lions the one-two punch they needed to put the game on ice at 69-64.

But the Lady Mustangs’ efforts were not without moments of brilliance, as four different players posted double digits in scoring.  Zoe Scott led all scorers with 20 points, followed by Marshall with 16, Iverson with 11, and Rivera with 10.  Marshall led the Lady Mustangs with nine rebounds, while Whitney Best (Snohomish, WA) grabbed three steals over the course of the evening.

The Lady Mustangs will have to quickly shake Tuesday’s heart breaking loss, and focus on Saturday’s game against the Firestorm of Arizona Christian (4-15, 0-7 GSAC).  Tip-off is set for 5:30 PM in Bross Gym.

GSAC Women’s Basketball News:

In other GSAC action, Biola demolished Arizona Christian 73-36, San Diego Christian defeated Hope 73-68, and No. 8 Westmont blew-out Concordia 84-51.