[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy
59°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
December 16
1902 - Hi Jolly (Hadji Ali), Gen. E.F. Beale's Syrian camel driver, dies at Quartzsite, Ariz. [story]


| Thursday, Mar 15, 2018
Lawrence Russell.File photo: Lawrence Russell.

By Mason Nesbitt, Sports Information Director

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Before Wednesday night’s NAIA Division 1 National Championship tournament opener, Master’s assistant coach Thomas Lowery and senior Lawrence Russell came to an understanding.

“I said, ‘Lo, are you going to let us drop a game,'” Lowery recounted after the Mustang’s 106-104 overtime loss to Peru State College inside Municipal Auditorium. “He said, ‘No, coach, I got you.'”

Over the final 5:30 of regulation, Russell willed the Mustangs (29-3) out of a nearly 6-foot-deep hole and into an ill-fated overtime period.

The senior wing scored 17 of his team-high 27 points in that span. He raced the length of the court and hit a lay-up at the buzzer to send the game to overtime. He capped a two-year Mustang career with a game befitting his legacy.

“I just didn’t want my season to end that way,” Russell said. “I didn’t want it to end without at least giving us a chance. So I tried to will the team to win.”

Down two with under 10 seconds left in overtime, Russell hurtled the length of the court, again. This time his floater didn’t fall. This time there’d be no comeback for one of the most prolific teams in TMU history.

The Mustangs won their first-ever Golden State Athletic Conference regular season title, the GSAC tournament title and earned the school’s first No. 1 NAIA ranking.

But only one overall No. 1 seed has won the national tournament since 2002. And Master’s didn’t double the number after a slow start to the first half (it shot 34 percent before the break), a 16-point second-half deficit and an overtime period when it couldn’t find the handle on many rebounds.

Neither team led by more than three in extra time. The score was tied three times.

“It was exciting,” said TMU coach Kelvin Starr. “We just didn’t guard the whole night and didn’t stay in front of people. We had two people beat us all night.”

Bobcat guards Quantice Hunter and James Westbrook combined for 58 points. Westbrook had 21 at halftime, when Peru State led 41-33.

The Mustangs finally drew even at 73-73 with 4:48 to play. But the Bobcats went on a quick 8-0 run that necessitated Russell’s heroics.

The senior wasn’t alone. Junior Hansel Atencia hit clutch buckets at the end of regulation and overtime to keep the Mustangs alive. He finished with 21 points and six assists.

TMU sophomore Brock Gardner scored 18 points and pulled down 17 rebounds. He blocked two shots and had three steals.

“It hurts,” Gardner said. “You prepare all season and achieve a couple goals … and then you come into the tournament and lose first round. It’s frustrating.”

And Russell’s performance?

“It’s amazing,” Gardner said. “Definitely something we’re going to miss. It seems like every close game we’d have, he’d flip a switch.”

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

0 Comments

You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


WATCH NOW
LOCAL SPORTS HEADLINES
Friday, Dec 14, 2018
Following finals week, CSUN Men's Basketball returns to action Sunday afternoon, hosting Pacific on The Blacktop at The Matadome with tip-off slated for 3 p.m.
Friday, Dec 14, 2018
After taking their Fall semester finals this week, the CSUN women's basketball team travels 30 miles down the I-5 to the Galen Center where the Matadors will face USC Sunday afternoon.
Friday, Dec 14, 2018
College of the Canyons sophomore Anthony Simone scored 24 points and pulled down 11 rebounds as the Cougars jumped out to an early lead to defeat host L.A. Harbor College 73-69 on Wednesday night.
Friday, Dec 14, 2018
This year's NAIA All-American roll call was a testament to perseverance.
Wednesday, Dec 12, 2018
The Cougars posted a pair of victories vs. two familiar foes as College of the Canyons played to a third-place result at the 45th Annual Santa Barbara City College Tournament held Dec. 6-8.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1902 - Hi Jolly (Hadji Ali), Gen. E.F. Beale's Syrian camel driver, dies at Quartzsite, Ariz. [story]
1987 - Incorporation: Santa Clarita officially becomes a city [story]
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Friday denied the Trump Administration’s attempt to block California's lawsuit challenging the citizenship question on the 2020 Census.
Court Denies Feds’ Attempt to Block California AG’s Census 2020 Lawsuit
Award-winning musician, philanthropist and CalArts School of Music namesake Herb Alpert and his wife, famed vocalist Lani Hall, will perform a holiday concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown Los Angeles on Thursday night, Dec. 20.
Dec. 20: Herb Alpert, Lani Hall Holiday Special at Disney Concert Hall
The 20th annual Animation 'Show of Shows' mini-festival has opened at theaters in Los Angeles and New York this week, and three of the films selected are directed by CalArtians.
CalArts Animators Featured at 20th Annual ‘Show of Shows’
Following finals week, CSUN Men's Basketball returns to action Sunday afternoon, hosting Pacific on The Blacktop at The Matadome with tip-off slated for 3 p.m.
Dec. 16: CSUN Men’s Hoopsters to Host Pacific
After taking their Fall semester finals this week, the CSUN women's basketball team travels 30 miles down the I-5 to the Galen Center where the Matadors will face USC Sunday afternoon.
Dec. 16: CSUN Woman’s Basketball Team Takes on USC
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies arrested a man on The Old Road for three outstanding warrants plus new drug, counterfeit money and suspected stolen property charges on Thursday night.
Man on Bike Arrested on Drug, Bogus Cash Charges in Stevenson Ranch
The California Enterprise Development Authority will hold its next teleconference meeting on Thursday, Dec. 20, at 10:30 a.m.
Dec. 20: California Enterprise Development Authority Teleconference Meeting
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Friday that nine scientific and technical achievements represented by 27 individual award recipients will be honored at its annual Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills on Saturday, Feb. 9.
Feb. 9: AMPAS to Honor Scientific, Technical Achievements
Santa Clarita business law firm Poole & Shaffery, LLP and the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce will host the 2019 Employment Law Update luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Valencia on Thursday, Jan. 10 from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Jan. 10: 2019 Employment Law Update Luncheon
Outgoing California Gov. Jerry Brown had some harsh words for world leaders at the United Nations Climate Conference in Poland, which wrapped up Friday.
‘Wake Up, the Planet Is Burning Up,’ Brown Tells Polluting Nations
The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce will host its next Business After Hours mixer at Oakmont of Santa Clarita on Wednesday, Dec. 19 starting at 5:30 p.m.
Dec. 19: Chamber Business After Hours Mixer at Oakmont
The next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set for Tuesday, Dec. 18, starting at 9:30 a.m.
Dec. 18: LA County Board of Supervisors Meeting
College of the Canyons sophomore Anthony Simone scored 24 points and pulled down 11 rebounds as the Cougars jumped out to an early lead to defeat host L.A. Harbor College 73-69 on Wednesday night.
Canyons Sinks L.A. Harbor 73-69
This year's NAIA All-American roll call was a testament to perseverance.
TMU’s Pair of All-Americans: A Tale of Perseverance
A divided Ninth Circuit on Thursday partly lifted a nationwide injunction barring enforcement of the Trump administration’s interim rules letting employers opt out of covering birth control on religious and moral grounds, limiting the injunction to California and four other states.
Court Limits Injunction on Contraception Rules to California, 4 More States
Resource deputies conducted a special operation at an unnamed Santa Clarita Valley school that netted three adults who were arrested on drug charges on Wednesday.
3 Adults Arrested on Drug Charges Near Local School
The California Air Resources Board on Friday approved a first-of-its-kind regulation in the United States that sets a statewide goal for public transit agencies to gradually transition to 100 percent zero-emission bus fleets by 2040.
California Aims for All-Electric Public Bus Fleet by 2040
1931 - Season's first major storm deposits 9 inches of snow in Newhall, 10 in Saugus [story]
Have you ever found yourself wanting to take a bike ride along the countless miles of paved trails in Santa Clarita, but don’t have a bike? Well, now you can.
City Launches ‘Pace’ Bike Share Program
The Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees, which oversees College of the Canyons, swore in recently elected board members, named its new officers, and set its 2019 meeting schedule at the board’s business and organizational meeting held on Wednesday.
New COC Board Members Sworn In, 2019 Officers Named
iLEAD Agua Dulce, a free public charter school serving grades TK through 6, has been selected to receive a $475,000 grant to bolster its acclaimed project-based and social-emotional learning programs, the school announced Thursday.
Agua Dulce Charter School Selected for $475K Grant
The Saugus Union School District said goodbye to two long serving Governing Board members at the District’s final meeting of 2018. Judy Egan Umeck, who served for 22 years, and Paul De La Cerda, who served for 13 years, left the Board following ceremonies at the Dec. 11, 2018 special meeting.
Longtime SUSD Governing Board Members Bid Farewell
The Saugus Union School District Governing Board conducted swearing-in ceremonies on Tuesday for trustees elected this past November.
SUSD Appoints New President, Clerk; New Members Sworn In
A suspect was taken into custody after reportedly stealing his father's vehicle Thursday morning, according to officials at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station.
Suspect in Custody After Reportedly Stealing Father’s Car
Three members of the William S. Hart Union High School District Governing Board re-elected last month were sworn in for their next four-year terms Wednesday night at the board’s annual re-organizational meeting
Hart District Elected Members Sworn In
With a focus on transparency and a desire to reassure customers that water rates will continue to reflect the accurate cost of providing services, the SCV Water Board of Directors recently adopted a rate-setting process that includes an independent ratepayer advocate.
SCV Water’s Rate-Setting Process to Include Ratepayer Advocate
Santa Clarita Valley residents and visitors will be able to enjoy 67.5 miles of an expanded network of multi-use trails and trail-related facilities, such as equestrian and outdoor leisure and sports, following approval Tuesday of the Santa Susana Mountains Trails Plan – Phase II, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
Santa Susana Mountains Trails Expand into SCV
This holiday season, Princess Cruises Community Foundation (PCCF) sponsored its eighth annual employee holiday giving program benefitting Single Mothers Outreach, a local nonprofit organization that empowers single parents and their children by providing hope, support and resources so that families can become self-sustaining.
Princess Cruises Annual Giving Program Benefits Single Mothers Outreach
The Christmas and New Year’s holidays are ways to spend time with family and friends ringing in another year, but also a time when people can make poor choices that put themselves and others at risk on the road.
LASD: ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ Campaign Begins Friday
A special meeting of the Castaic Union School District's Governing Board will take place Thursday at 5:00 p.m.
Dec. 13: CUSD Governing Board Special Meeting
1900 - Automobile Club of Southern California founded; first car in SCV appeared 1902 [story]
The Cougars posted a pair of victories vs. two familiar foes as College of the Canyons played to a third-place result at the 45th Annual Santa Barbara City College Tournament held Dec. 6-8.
Cougars Take Third at SBCC Tourney
"Milk and Cookies with Santa," a free "sensory-friendly" storytelling and cookie-eating event hosted by the city of Santa Clarita, is set for the Canyon Country Community Center on Monday, Dec. 17, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Dec. 17: ‘Sensory-Friendly’ Santa Event at Canyon Country Community Center
Faith Community Church in Newhall will host its 13th Annual “Festividad for Christ” community Christmas celebration on Saturday, Dec. 15, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Dec. 15: Faith Community Church to Host 13th Annual ‘Festividad for Christ’