Game Recap By Don Gilmore, TMU Assistant SID
The rhetoric of playing a full 40 minutes can easily overshadow the reality of a college team’s effort.
Mental and physical exertion at both ends of the court is demanding.
Yet, over the past two games, The Master’s University women’s basketball team has been up to the task, most evidently at the defensive end.
The latest example came Saturday evening in El Cajon when the 22nd-ranked Mustangs limited host San Diego Christian to one field goal in the first half on the way to a dominating 67-28 win.
“I’m very pleased with how we defended for a full 40,” TMU head coach Dan Waldeck said. “We’ve been working hard at establishing a more resilient identity and for the second game in a row that came through.”
Two nights after blanking Hope International in the third quarter of a 76-47 victory, the Mustangs ramped up the defense again, holding the Hawks to just six first-half points.
Three of those points came on the Hawks’ only basket of the first half, a 3-pointer from Hawk Henriette Gahmig just eight seconds into play.
After that it was all Mustangs as they scored the next 14 points to take total command.
Sophomore Rebekah Throns keyed the burst with a game-tying three, and freshman Stephanie Soares capped it with a layup at the 5:08 mark of the opening quarter.
The Hawks made it a 10-point game with a free throw before the Mustangs raced away on a 27-2 run that sent them to halftime up 41-6.
Soares had 11 points at the break and sophomore Anika Neuman threw in seven more.
The real story, though, was at the other end where the Mustangs held the Hawks to just 1-of-19 shooting from the field.
“To hold a team to one field goal for an entire half reveals an increased attention to defensive discipline,” said Waldeck.
The second half wasn’t as dominating, yet San Diego Christian managed only 29% (9-31) accuracy over the final 20 minutes and 10-50 for the game.
After shooting over 45% from the field in the first half, the Mustangs cooled off to 31% in the second stanza to finish at 38.7%.
Neuman led all scorers with 14 points and Soares notched her fifth double-double of the campaign with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
“This is a good way to go into finals week as we focus on finishing strong in the classroom before some tough on-court matchups before Christmas break,” said Waldeck.
The first of those comes on December 17 when No. 3 Wayland Baptist of Texas invades Bross Court for a 1 p.m. start.