Theresa Brown (Eugene, OR) led a second half 6-0 run, which gave the Lady Mustangs just enough of a cushion to secure a close, but true, 52-46 victory over the hosting CSU San Marcos Cougars (8-14) Wednesday night.
The win improved TMC’s overall season record to a spotless 12-0.
Despite opening up play with a three-pointer off the hands of Whitney Best (Snohomish, WA), Wednesday’s victory did not come easy for the visiting Lady Mustangs as they found themselves trailing 21-9 at the 6:10 mark.
But a resilient Mustang offense battled through the 12 point deficit and brought the score to 21-18 at the half. Lena Rivera (Allen, TX) led the 9-0 run with a layup, followed by a jumper from Jacqeulyn Marshall (San Clemente, CA). Zoe Scott (Spokane WA) sunk a timely three-pointer, bringing the score to 21-16, before Rivera finished what she started by nailing a jumper to bring the score to 21-18. Notably, the 9-0 offensive spurt happened in just six minutes and 13 seconds.
The Lady Mustangs’ first half marksmanship from the field was displayed by a minimal 19.4% accuracy. Scott (5) and Rivera (4) combined for nine points to keep the Lady Mustangs in the game. Kelly Burns (Yorba Linda, CA) led TMC’s defensive efforts with six rebounds at the break.
After intermission, the Cougars extended their lead to six on a Jessica Harris three-pointer just 19 seconds into play. Brown & Scott cut CSUSM’s lead to one after the duo tallied a layup (Brown) and a three-pointer (Scott) in just 33 seconds. After a 4-3 run in favor of the Cougars, the Lady Mustangs finally regained the lead at 30-28 with 16:25 left to play by a trifecta from Best.
In the span of two minutes, the teams faced two ties before the Lady Mustangs regained the lead again with a free-throw by Best. The Cougars saw their last lead of the night with exactly 12 minutes left to play, when a Sherika Miller layup gave CSUSM a one-point advantage at 34-33.
Brown answered back with a layup and a free throw bringing things to 36-34. Burns and Best aided to the 6-0 run, and gave the Mustangs a five point lead at 39-34.
An attempted comeback on behalf of the Cougars got the Lady Mustangs’ attention as Kimmy Iverson (San Marcos, CA) sparked a late-game offensive effort by sinking a three pointer, giving the Mustangs a 42-36 advantage at the 8:02 mark. Following a jumper by Rivera that brought the score to 44-38, Brown extended the Lady Mustangs’ lead to 46-38 when the senior point guard drove in for a layup with 3:41 left to play.
In the final two minutes of the second half, the combined efforts of Brown, Marshall, Lena Rivera, and younger sister Millie Rivera (Allen, TX) held off the Cougars, and brought the final score to 52-46.
Brown led the Lady Mustangs in scoring with 13 points, all of which came from the second half. Best followed with 10 points, while Scott tallied eight. Marshall and Burns both claimed eight rebounds.
The Lady Mustangs now look to Saturday as Simpson University (4-10) rolls into Bross Gym for a 5:30 p.m. tipoff.