Game Recap By Mason Nesbitt, TMU Sports Information Director
Keegan Scott (pictured) put the ball on the deck, skipped behind the arc and flicked the kind of shot TMU brought him back to take.
Scott’s three-pointer dipped through the net, and the redshirt senior formed two OK symbols with his hands as he jogged downcourt.
This was not his first time inside The MacArthur Center.
Scott, who played for the Mustangs for three seasons before initially choosing not to return for 2018-19, re-introduced himself to TMU fans with an electric first half in Saturday’s 103-77 win over Ottawa University Arizona.
In a seven-minute spurt, Scott connected on all four shots he took, including two three-pointers, and recorded 10 of his 13 points.
The Mustangs led by 20 at the break and pulled away from there for their 34th straight home win.
TMU’s Hansel Atencia led all scorers with 21 points and nine assists, while Scott’s efforts sparked one of the Mustangs’ best performances from deep this season. Master’s made 13-of-28 threes overall, with Darryl McDowell-White going 2-for-2 and hitting all five shots he attempted.
For Scott, it was his second game since returning to the program this week.
After serving as a three-point specialist for the Mustangs from 2015 to 2018, and starting at point guard in both of last season’s GSAC tournament games, Scott graduated in May with a season of eligibility on the table.
He decided to accept a position with a solar company and focus on life after basketball.
When the season began, however, he sensed a lack of purpose. Months later, when coach Kelvin Starr approached him about a return that would add depth at guard and shooting punch to TMU’s lineup, Scott was ready.
He began MBA classes at Master’s this week and went 0-for-3 in a crucial win over No. 21 Arizona Christian on Thursday, playing solid on-ball defense in nine minutes of action.
Saturday, Scott checked in at the 13:32 mark of the first half and knocked down his first three-pointer since March 5, 2018, a few minutes later.
“It felt really good to see a shot go through the net clean,” said Scott. “Last game, my shots were all just off, and I felt like today I finally got my legs back.”
His teammates were glad to have him.
“We love the guy as a person, not only a player,” said Atencia. “It makes me happy that he’s doing well and that he’s here for my senior year.”
And what a senior year it’s been.
Saturday was the fourth time in five games that Atencia totaled at least nine assists, a sign that he’s balancing the use of his overwhelming offensive skill to create his own shot with finding his teammates.
Through 24 games, he’s averaging team highs of 18.5 points and 5.6 assists.
“He does it all, the plays he makes are unbelievable,” said Scott. “The things he can do with the basketball. You have to guard him because he can shoot it. But if you close out too hard, he’ll find a way to finish or dish it off. He’s the best point guard I’ve ever played with for sure.”
Tim Soares (15 points, eight rebounds, three blocks,) Brock Gardner (16 points) and McDowell-White (15 points) rounded out Mustangs in double figures.
Redshirt freshman Dallas Cunningham came off the bench and hit three three-pointers down the stretch, the second of which lifting TMU to at least 100 points for the third straight game.
Master’s will now leave town next week to face Menlo College and William Jessup in what tends to be one of the more difficult road trips for the Mustangs across all sports.
“It’s going to be a tough, tough road trip,” Starr said.