Reid Shackelford drained five three-pointers on the way to a career-high 15 points and The Master’s College put together a game-changing, first-half run en route to a 67-46 beating of Mt. Marty (SD) on the first day of the Embassy Suites Classic at Arizona Christian.
Playing their first game since December 14, the Mustangs showed little rust in winning their seventh in a row to improve to 10-2.
Shackelford, a redshirt freshman guard from Murrieta, California, played a huge part in that decisive, 24-2 burst, burying a trio of trifectas in a seven-minute window that turned a 3-1 deficit into a 24-5 Mustang lead with 7:04 left in the opening stanza.
The sharpshooter (second on the team with 23 treys) had plenty of help, too, from his teammates. After the Lancers briefly interrupted the Mustang surge with a three-pointer, Derrick Fain (Dallas, TX) and Bernard Ireland (Victorville, CA) followed with trifectas of their own and when Shackelford sank his fourth long-range jumper of the half with five minutes left, the Mustangs were enjoying a half-high 23-point (33-10) advantage.
The Lancers, who shot just 23% from the field in the first half, showed some life late life, ripping off an 11-4 skein over the final 4:31. However, the Mustangs still went to halftime up 37-21, shooting 52% (14-27) from the floor, including a 7-15 (47%) mark from behind the arc.
Although the Mustangs weren’t as accurate (45%) in the second half, they didn’t need to be as their stingy defense continued to wreak havoc on a Lancer squad that could only get as close as 16 points. After Mt. Marty made it a 46-30 game with 11:57 remaining, the Mustangs responded with seven consecutive points in a 2:50 span on a Chris Patureau (Houston, TX) three-point play and back-to-back buckets from Dominique Lanier (Lakewood, CA) and Ireland.
Fittingly, Shackelford gave the Mustangs their largest lead of the evening when his final trifecta with 6:31 showing on the clock vaulted the club in front 60-36.
The Mustangs, who came into the game shooting at just under 49% for the season, finished 27-56 (48.2%) from the field while holding the Lancers to just 26% accuracy.
Shackelford’s game-high total came on 5-10 shooting, all from behind the arc, while Zach Stalin (Bellingham, WA) added a dozen points and yanked down a game-high nine rebounds as the Mustangs outboarded the Lancers 41-31.
The Mustangs finish up play in the Embassy Suites Classic on Tuesday when they tangle with Menlo, a squad they edged 77-73 on November 30.