Tuesday March 7, The Master’s University men’s and women’s basketball teams will compete in the 2017 GSAC Basketball Tournament Championships on the campus of Hope International University in Fullerton.
All TMU alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends of TMU within driving distance are encouraged to take part in this historic evening in Mustang Athletics.
Mustang fans are encouraged to fill up the gym for both games, which will also be televised live on Fox Sports West in the Los Angeles area. The game will also be shown nationally on Fox College Sports.
The women are making their third appearance in the last four years in the tournament championship game, while this is the first-ever appearance for the men since joining the GSAC in 2001. This is the first time in TMU Athletics history that both teams are in conference tournament championship game at the same time.
TMU Women’s Basketball will go against Westmont College in the GSAC Women’s Basketball Tournament Championship at 5 p.m.
TMU Men’s Basketball will go against Hope International University in the GSAC Men’s Basketball Tournament Championship at 8 p.m. at Hope International University – Darling Pavilion, located on 2500 E. Nutwood Avenue, Fullerton.
GSAC Basketball Tournament Championship ticket prices are $10 for adults, $5 for students/seniors, and $15 for a premium chairback seating. Admission is valid for both games.
Fox Sports West and Fox College Sports. Check local cable providers in advance for channel information. Live stats for Tuesday’s games can be found here.
Women: The Master’s University women’s basketball team (22-7 overall record, 10-6 GSAC, No. 4 tournament seed, ranked 19th in the NAIA), advanced to the GSAC Tournament Championship game after it beat Arizona Christian 85-73 (14-14 overall record, 8-8 GSAC, No. 5 tournament seed) in the tournament’s quarterfinal game on March 3, and Vanguard (27-3 overall record, 15-1 GSAC, No. 1 tournament seed, ranked fourth in NAIA, regular-season GSAC champion) 69-67 in the semifinals on March 4. Both games took place on Bross Court.
Now, the Lady Mustangs turn their attention to Westmont, the NAIA’s seventh-ranked team.
“Westmont is playing fantastic,” said TMU head coach Dan Waldeck. “It’s going to be a tall task to beat them on Tuesday, but we’ll prepare as best we can and be ready to compete hard.”
The Warriors (26-4 overall record, 13-3 GSAC, No. 3 tournament seed, ranked 7th in NAIA) have beaten TMU twice this last season. On December 7, the Lady Mustangs fell to the Warriors 50-47 on Bross Court. Then, on January 19, TMU fell to Westmont 61-58 in overtime in Santa Barbara.
The Lady Mustangs are led by Bianca Cubello and Megan Lindsley. Last week, the duo was named to the 2016-17 Women’s Basketball All-GSAC Team presented by Under Armour.
The selections mark the third year in a row that the inside-outside tandem has earned all-conference honors.
Cubello finished the regular-season slate posting team-highs of 13ppg and 8.5rpg while leading the conference in free throw percentage (82.7%) and blocked shots (62). Playing all 27 games, the Riverside, California native scored in double figures 21 times and notched eight double-doubles.
Lindsley (Vancouver, WA) averaged 9.5ppg and was second on the team with 35 three-pointers. She tallied in double figures 14 times, scoring a season-high 21 points at Arizona Christian on December 10, 2016.
Regardless of the outcome, Tuesday’s Golden State Athletic Conference Tournament title game will undoubtedly write another exciting chapter in the Lady Mustangs’ postseason record book. This will be the third time in the past four years that TMU has played in the tournament championship and their fifth overall since joining the GSAC in 2001.
In the 2003 GSAC Women’s Basketball Tournament Championship Game, TMU beat Vanguard 76-66. Three years later (2006), the Lady Mustangs beat Point Loma Nazarene 61-49 in the tournament title game. Eight years later (2014), TMU suffered a 64-59 loss to Hope International University in the GSAC Tournament Championship, but beat Vanguard a year later (2016) 60-54 in the tournament title game.
Men: The Master’s University men’s basketball team (25-4 overall record, 12-4 GSAC, No. 3 tournament seed, ranked 14th in the NAIA) advanced to the GSAC Tournament Championship game after it beat Arizona Christian (18-12 overall, 5-11 GSAC, No. 6 tournament seed) 76-61 in the tournament’s quarterfinal game on March 3, and Biola (26-5 overall, 12-4 GSAC, No. 2 tournament seed, ranked seventh in the NAIA) 83-68 in the semifinals on March 4. Both games took place on the campus of Westmont College in Santa Barbara.
This last season, the Mustangs fell twice to Hope International, the regular-season GSAC champion (25-6 overall record, 13-3 GSAC, No. 1 tournament seed, ranked fifth in the NAIA). On January 7, the Mustangs fell to the Royals 88-56 on Bross Court. Then, on February 9, the team lost to HIU 82-72 in Fullerton.
The Mustangs are led by Reid Shackelford and Lawrence Russell. Last week, the duo was named to the 2016-17 Men’s Basketball All-GSAC Team presented by Under Armour.
Russell, who was also named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year, may have been the club’s top all-around performer, putting up strong lines on a consistent basis. The junior transfer paced the club in rebounding (7.8rpg, second in the GSAC), assists (4rpg, third in the GSAC), and steals (1.9spg, second in the GSAC). Russell (Port Townsend, WA) scored a season-high 24 points vs. Vanguard on February 25 and pulled down a season-best 12 rebounds on three occasions while recording a team-best 10 double-doubles.
Shackelford led the Mustangs in scoring and finished second in the GSAC at 16.9ppg. The sharpshooting senior guard drained a school-record 10 three-pointers vs. Embry-Riddle (AZ) on November 11, 2016 en route to a career-high 51 points. His 85 three-pointers were second-best in the conference and represented the seventh-best single-season mark in program history. He had the third-highest free throw percentage (86%) mark in the GSAC, the ninth-best single-season mark in school history.
Commenting on Tuesday’s matchup, first-year head coach Kelvin Starr said, “We are very excited to play the No. 1-ranked team in the GSAC. It should be a great atmosphere Tuesday night.”