Parlaying a strong first half and a game-high 19 points from senior All-American Jacquelyn Marshall, The Master’s College cruised past Northwest Christian of Oregon 92-69 in its season opener at the Bill Holtz Warrior Classic at William Jessup in Rocklin Friday afternoon.
Marshall (San Clemente, CA) scored the game’s first two points 31 seconds into play and wound up with eight first-half points but it was a three-pointer by Nicole Nitake (Torrance,CA) more than six minutes later that sparked a game-changing run.
Down 13-12, Nitake’s trifecta ignited a 21-2 burst over a 6:14 span that vaulted the Mustangs ahead 33-15 with 7:02 left in the first half. That was the first of six straight points scored by the sophomore and the Mustangs got contributions from everybody during the skein that was capped by a Lindsey Levanen free throw.
And, the Mustangs weren’t done. After the Beacons hit one from the field, sophomore Shannon Kingery (West Hills, CA) and Olivia Thompson (Huntington Beach, CA) drained back-to-back threes, fueling a 12-5, half-ending run. Marshall ended the half the same way she started it, grabbing her own missed shot and putting it back with 1:46 left to give the club a 45-22 lead, one they would take to the halftime break.
Over the opening 20 minutes, the Mustangs hit 40% (16-40) of their shots from the field while limiting the Beacons to 25% (10-40) accuracy. Nitake and Marshall led the way with eight points apiece.
Both clubs improved their marksmanship from the field in the second half but it did little to impact the eventual outcome. The Mustangs extended their lead to as many as 27 points on three occasions in the first seven minutes of the final stanza as Marshall and junior Millie Rivera (Allen. TX) tossed in four points apiece in that window.
The Beacons drew to within 17 points (75-58) with 6:34 remaining but the Mustangs countered with a 17-5 run over the next four minutes, using three-pointers from freshman Megan Lindsley (Vancouver, WA) and Kingery to lengthen the advantage to a game-high 29 points (92-63) at the 2:31 mark.
The Mustangs hit nearly 49% (18-37) of their shots in the second half and wound up at 44% for the game. From behind the arc, they went an impressive 12-27 (44%).
Calling it a “good game to start the year”, sixth-year head coach Dan Waldeck elaborated that he was “proud of the team, especially for their selfless play (reflected by 26 assists) and the way in which they represented the school and the Lord with excellence.”
Marshall, who also pulled down a team-best eight rebounds, paced five Mustangs in double figures, including Nitake who scored 14 points, nine of those coming on 3-4 shooting from three-point range. Kingery was almost as effective from behind the arc, going 3-5, en route to a career-high 11 points. Lindsley wound up with 10 points as did senior guard Zoe Scott (Spokane, WA).
The Mustangs finish up their brief weekend in Rocklin on Saturday when they play Oregon Tech on the final day of the Bill Holtz Classic and then return to Santa Clarita to prepare for their home opener on November 14 against Bethesda.