By Don Gilmore, Assistant Sports Information Director
You can’t teach height.
Sometimes, height makes life hard.
The former is a basketball truism, while the latter is something The Master’s University women’s basketball team found to be just as true Saturday evening in a 62-56 loss to No. 12 Westmont.
Sparked by 36 combined points from 6-foot-1 Lauren McCoy and 6-3 Morgan Haskin, the Warriors ran away from the Mustangs and then held on down the stretch to hand TMU a defeat that dropped it to 2-3 in the GSAC and 12-5 overall.
McCoy, a three-time All-GSAC selection, and Haskin combined for the game’s first seven points as the Warriors (11-5, 4-1) raced to a lead they would never relinquish. 736
When McCoy converted a free throw with 3:41 left in the opening quarter, Westmont led 11-2 and by the end of the frame they owned a 16-5 advantage.
On the verge of letting the game get away, the Mustangs rode the shooting of Brooke Bailey back into contention.
The sophomore guard scored seven points in the first 5:10 of the second stanza, including a jumper with 4:50 remaining that pulled the Mustangs within 24-19.
However, Westmont was quick to answer. In a three-minute window, the Warriors rattled off 13 consecutive points to extend the advantage to 37-19, and Haskins’ two free throws in the final seconds of the half sent the Warriors to the break up 39-22.
McCoy initiated the second half with a layup to give the Warriors their largest lead of the game. They maintained a comfortable double-digit lead throughout the rest of the quarter and led 47-33 after three.
As they had in the opening period, McCoy and Haskin went to work in the fourth, combining for Westmont’s first 12 points of the stanza.
The Warriors needed almost all of that because the Mustangs closed with a rush, seeking a late comeback.
Trailing 60-49 with just under two minutes to play, the Mustangs pared the deficit to 62-54 on a couple of free throws each from Sabrina Thompson and Bailey. And Hannah Forrar converted a layup with nine seconds remaining to make it a six-point game.
However, there just wasn’t enough time for anything else, and the Mustangs fell to fifth place in conference standings.
McCoy wound up with 19 points, while Haskin tossed in 17 more for Westmont.
A one-woman wrecking crew at times, Bailey led all scorers with a career-high 22 points. Forrar was the other Mustang in double figures, dropping in 16 more.
In a rigorous stretch of games, the Mustangs now must prepare for Vanguard, the nation’s second-ranked squad. TMU welcomes the Lions to Bross Court Thursday evening for a 5:30 p.m. tip-off.