The Master’s University men’s basketball team’s outstanding 2016-17 campaign continued Thursday night with the 18th-ranked Mustangs beating the William Jessup University Warriors 103-93 on Bross Court.
The win improved TMU’s record to 21-4 overall and 10-4 in Golden State Athletic Conference play. William Jessup’s record moved to 17-10 (7-6 GSAC).
Thursday’s victory also marked the eighth time this season that the Mustangs have crossed the century mark.
Currently, the Mustangs sit in third-place in the GSAC’s standings. No. 4 Biola sits on top of the conference at 25-3 (11-3 GSAC), followed by No. 10 Hope International (10-3, 21-6 GSAC).
Commenting on Thursday’s game, first-year TMU head coach Kelvin Starr said, “Although we did not execute very well tonight, our guys did a tremendous job of sustaining energy for 40 minutes.”
The Warriors led the Mustangs for the first four minutes of play until TMU pulled ahead after Hansel Atencia drove in a layup at the 15:19 mark, giving the Mustangs a 12-11 advantage.
After Atencia’s layup, TMU never let the Warriors regain a lead and kept them at arm’s length for the rest of the evening. Coincidentally, the Mustangs’ largest lead (20 points) came at the 14:24 mark in the second half when Atencia scored off another layup.
While the Warriors cut TMU’s lead down to single digits in the final minute of play, the Mustangs fended off any potential WJU comeback and closed the evening with a 10-point advantage (103-93) when Harrison White and Reid Shackelford drained four consecutive free throws after WJU’s Elijah Lewis received a technical foul.
Reid Shackelford led all scorers by posting 36 points. Four other Mustangs scored in double figures as Atencia scored 21 points, Timothy Soares tallied 13, Travis Yenor earned 11, and Delewis Johnson posted 10. Atencia also led the Mustangs in assists by dishing out six dimes. Soares also grabbed 11 rebounds, which marked his fourth double-double of the season.
As a team, TMU went 31-67 (46%) from the field, 9-31 (29%) from behind the arc, and 32-40 (80%) from the charity stripe.
On Saturday, the Mustangs will compete in their final home game of the 2016-17 campaign when they welcome Menlo College to Bross Court for a 2:00 p.m. tilt.