By Mason Nesbitt, TMU Sports Information Director
MONTECITO — Westmont head coach Kirsten Moore called timeout and rotated her hands one over the other. This was no move to extend a 54-41 home win over The Master’s University women’s basketball team on Saturday night. This was about subs.
And as seniors Lauren McCoy and Morgan Haskin came off the floor in the final seconds of their final home game, Moore wrapped each in a bear hug, neither as tight as the stranglehold Westmont sprung on TMU.
The Mustangs (17-8, 6-6 in Golden State Athletic Conference) scored their fewest points of the season, shooting 31 percent from the floor.
“You have to score points to win,” said TMU coach Dan Waldeck.
For a group looking to find an offensive groove, one could think of a more inviting situation than a date with the No. 4 team in the country at their place.
Westmont (19-5, 11-1), which clinched its second GSAC title in three years with the win, entered the night allowing 53 points per game to GSAC opponents.
Brooke Bailey led the Mustangs with nine points. Sabrina Thompson followed with eight, her 3-pointer from the left shoulder giving TMU a 29-27 lead midway through the third. But Westmont took the lead for good with 2:33 to go in the third frame.
Anika Neuman added seven points for TMU, which led by five early in the first quarter and trailed by only one at half.
But Master’s made three of 12 shots in the third quarter and two of nine in the fourth.
Still, there was a silver lining.
The Mustangs had already wrapped up a berth in the GSAC tournament, to be held later this month at Arizona Christian in Phoenix.
Master’s will play at Hope International on Thursday and at No. 9 Vanguard University on Saturday to close out the regular season.