The Master’s University men’s basketball team rebounded from an emotional loss, defeating the Carroll College (MT) Saints 95-82 at the Cactus Classic in Chandler, Ariz.
The No. 18-ranked Mustangs (9-3) pulled down 15 offensive rebounds that led to 22 second chance points. By contrast, the Saints were held to nine offensive boards that generated 11 points.It was the eighth game of the 12 played so far this season that the team has scored more than 90 points. TMU is ranked 11th in the nation averaging 90.3 points per game.
“We didn’t shoot very well as a team, but we were able to score,” said TMU head coach Kelvin Starr. “And we still had a few breakdowns defensively that let them back into the game. But what we did do well is get great support from guys off the bench. Miles Mendes played a great game. He was only credited with (six) rebounds, but he tipped the ball out five or six times to our guys. It’s the little things that have to get done to win ball games, and that’s what he did.”
Against Carroll, the Mustangs shot better than 44% from the field, which is down from their season average of 48%, and also only made 10 of 33 shots from 3-point range, also below the season average.
But Caden Starr made seven of those 10 threes, tying his career high and also tying his career high in points with 32. Starr also led the team with nine rebounds.
Kaleb Lowery scored 21 and added seven rebounds. Ty Harper had 17 and Jordan Caruso added 14.
For the game, TMU had the overall rebounding advantage (46-40), and also controlled the ball very well with a season-low five turnovers. The three-point lead at the half (43-40) increased to 13 by the end of the game, a stark contrast to what happened last Friday against No. 15 Rocky Mountain.
The Master’s led by as much as 30 points in the first half over the Battlin’ Bears in the opening game of the tournament, only to have that lead evaporate in the second half and lose the game 95-91.
“I’m just excited to bounce back because that was a difficult loss the other night,” Starr said. “The big challenge is for us to make it happen two games in a row against good teams.
The final game for The Master’s at the Cactus Classic will be Monday against Montana Western. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. PT.
“We’ve got to be ready to go against Montana Western,” Starr said. “They are a good team.”