November 14, 2013
Last Saturday, the 10th-ranked Master's College women's basketball team evened its season record to 1-1 by falling to an unranked Oregon Tech 63-74.
Still fresh on the mind, the Lady Mustangs entered Thursday's home opener against Bethesda determined to put Saturday's loss in the past and return to their winning ways.
The Lady Mustangs did just that with an 88-59 victory over the Flames, but it didn't come easy.
“We know we can be a national contender, but Saturday’s loss was the best thing that could have happened to us,” commented Lady Mustang head coach Dan Waldeck. “We needed to get refocused. We did a much better job tonight, and we’ll keep getting better. A couple weeks of practice and some games against some top quality teams will help us get better and teach us how to win.”
That lesson on how to win started Thursday night at Bross Court.
Rocketing out to an 11-0 start, TMC appeared to have had things under control against Bethesda's initial lackluster performance. Down, but not out, the Flames slowly singed the Lady Mustangs' lead, and eventually caught up to tie the score at 22-22.
However, an Olivia Thompson (Huntington Beach, CA) three-pointer unlocked the tie, sparking a 12-5 run and gave TMC a 34-27 lead into the break.
At the half, the Lady Mustangs produced a 34.8% shooting percentage, yanked down 22 rebounds, tallied 8 assists, and nabbed 7 steals. Jacquelyn Marshall (San Clemente, CA) led all scorers with 8 points, while Millie Rivera (Allen, TX) closely followed with 7 more.
After the break, Marshall kick started the Lady Mustangs’ second-half burst with a layup at the 18:59 mark, extending TMC’s lead to 36-27. Shortly after, Zoe Scott (Spokane, WA) drained a three-pointer while Lindsey Levanen (Battleground, WA) delivered a layup, bringing the score to 41-29.
Then, it happened.
Whitney Best (Snohomish, WA), who was relatively quite in the first half, drained her first of six three-pointers at the 16:49 mark, raising TMC’s lead to 44-29.
Shortly after, Best drained another trey at the 15:46 mark, giving the Lady Mustangs a 47-33 advantage.
Best then put TMC up 50-36 by striking again behind the arch at 15:39.
Almost 10 minutes later at the 6:29 mark, Best Gave the Lady Mustangs a comfortable lead at 71-52 of her fourth three-pointer of the evening.
Moments later, Best put up her fifth three-pointer with 3:50 left to play, giving TMC a 21 point lead at 77-56.
Finally, Best tallied her sixth three-pointer at the 3:16 mark, giving TMC a comfortable 80-56 lead over the flames.
Scoring 20 points and going 6-8 behind the arch, Thursday’s performance was Best’s career-high in total points and three-pointers made.
From there, Shanon Kingery, Kelly Burns, and Rivera led TMC on an 8-3 run in the final 1:50, ending the game at 88-59.
To no surprise, Best led all scorers with 20 points and earned 7 assists. Marshall earned a double-double by scoring 16 points and yanking down an evening-high 11 rebounds. Burns chipped in a team-high 4 steals.
Collectively, TMC finished with a 46.4% (32-69) shooting percentage, scored 16 points in the paint, grabbed 45 rebounds, and produced 24 assists. The Lady Mustangs’ bench earned 14 points.
Now, the Lady Mustangs look to improve their 2-1 start Saturday afternoon in a 2:00 p.m. home game against the Cal Tech Beavers.
“We’re trying to get more rhythm both on offense and defense,” commented head coach Dan Waldeck on Saturday’s game. “We need to know how to use each other on the court and put ourselves into position to dominate games. Saturday should present a good opportunity to teach us how to do that.”