Playing without your team’s top scorer would usually present problems for a club trying to get back on the winning track.
Not on Thursday evening.
Paced by five players in double figures, The Master’s University made up for the absence of Hannah Forrar in a resounding 94-58 win over La Verne to improve to 7-2.
“Playing without our leading scorer, it was great to see so many people step up,” said TMU head coach Dan Waldeck.
Completing their busiest month (nine regular-season contests and three exhibitions) in recent memory, the Mustangs took a while to get going. They were down 14-12 midway through the first quarter before a Jessica Soares layup tied the game and keyed an 11-2 run that was capped by a Hannah Ostrom layup for a 23-16 lead after one stanza.
The Mustangs shot nearly 56 percent from the field during the opening 10 minutes. They were even more accurate in the second quarter, hitting nearly 67% of their shots as they started to pull away.
It started with another Ostrom bucket two minutes into the period and when Anika Neuman scored on a layup with 6:54 remaining in the half, the Mustangs had their first double-digit lead (29-19) of the evening.
An Ostrom three-pointer just over a minute later extended the advantage to 34-21 and a trio of Rebekah Throns’ baskets in a 79-second window made it a 44-28 game with less than three minutes left in the stanza.
Throns wasn’t done either. Her jumper with 1:07 remaining extended the Mustang advantage to a half-high 21 points (50-29). The Mustangs went to the break up 53-35.
Throns, Neuman, and Ostrom all had 10 points in the club’s highest-scoring half of the season.
There was no let-up in the third quarter as the Mustang defense took center stage, limiting the Leopards to just 25% accuracy from the field.
TMU held La Verne scoreless for the first 3:14 of the third quarter and then blanked the Leopards over the final 3:39 of the period while continuing to grow their advantage. La Verne scored just nine points in the quarter.
The margin grew to 32 points (74-42) on an Alyssa Prettyman trifecta with 1:11 remaining in the quarter.
It reached a game-high 41 points (87-46) on a Soares jumper with 7:17 left to play as the Mustangs cruised down the stretch to their largest margin of victory in the season’s first month.
Neuman led the quintet of Mustangs in double figures with a game-high 16 points. Throns was a jack-of-all-trades off the bench, pouring in 13 points, taking down a game-high 10 rebounds, dishing out six assists, and getting seven steals.
Ostrom, starting in place of Forrar, scored 12 points, Brooke Bailey added 11 more, and Sabrina Thompson chipped in with 10 points to go along with five assists.
Jamilee Iddings dished out a game-high nine assists to go along with nine points and four steals in a solid, all-around performance.
“I thought Rebekah (Throns) and Jamilee (Iddings) were outstanding with the combination of their defense and playmaking,” said Waldeck following the game. “We are looking forward to some rest after such a busy November, but it’s been a good start to the season for the youngest team we’ve ever had.”
The Mustangs don’t play again until December 9 when they travel to Pasadena to take on Cal Tech.