By Don Gilmore, Assistant SID
The Lady Mustangs could get used to this.
First-quarter runs, that is.
Scoring runs that change the course of the game.
For the second game in a row, The Master’s University used a big, opening-quarter blitz to create separation that allowed them to beat Hope International 67-50 Thursday evening in Fullerton.
“I think we overcame a lot of adversity tonight,” said head coach Dan Waldeck. “The girls battled through sickness and injury to win a tough road game.”
The victory was the club’s 13th in a row and kept the nation’s fifth-ranked squad atop the GSAC by two games (21-4 overall, 13-1 GSAC).
It took all of 5:39 for the Mustangs to score the game’s first 13 points.
Sophomore Rebekah Throns’ three-pointer 13 seconds into play ignited the run and Tristen Coltom’s layup with 4:21 left in the stanza capped it.
The Mustangs spent the rest of the quarter extending the advantage and after Jamilee Iddings hit a jumper with eight seconds left on the clock, the club enjoyed a 24-6 lead after one.
As much as the TMU offense thrived in the first stanza, it struggled in the second when it managed only eight points, all from freshman center Stephanie Soares.
Still, the Mustang defense was good enough to squelch any comeback attempt by the Royals.
It held the hosts to just 5-of-18 shooting in the quarter and the Mustangs led 32-18 at the break.
The Mustangs led by as many as 19 points in the third quarter and took a 49-33 advantage into the fourth after Iddings drained a three-pointer with six seconds left.
The Royals made one last rush to get back in the game, closing to 54-43 with 6:29 remaining.
However, Hannah Forrar keyed a 9-2 run with a layup and when Sabrina Thompson converted a three-point play with 1:47 left, the game was safely in the win column.
The Royals wound up shooting just 29% from the field, while the Mustangs enjoyed 53% accuracy, including a sparkling 66% from inside the arc.
Soares was brilliant once again, posting game-highs of 23 points and 16 rebounds for her 21st double-double of the campaign.
Forrar also scored in double figures, tossing in 12 points. Rebekah Throns pulled down eight rebounds and Anika Neuman ripped down seven more as the Mustangs held a 43-22 board advantage.
Following a three-game road trip, the Mustangs return home Saturday evening to host San Diego Christian in a 5:30 p.m. start.