On paper before the game it was going to be two good Golden State Athletic Conference men’s basketball teams, each receiving votes in the most recent National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Top 25 poll. They were tied at the half. But it was The Master’s University that exerted a stronger will to win in the second half to snatch a 77-69 road win over the William Jessup Warriors on Saturday, Jan. 7.
Tied at 34-34 at the half, the Mustangs (11-5, 4-3 in GSAC) scored the first five points of the second half and went on a 15-4 run in the first 4:26 to break the game open in their favor. A jump shot by Kamrin Oriol with 9:49 to play gave TMU their largest lead of the game at 14 points. The defense held the Warriors to just 11-of-31 (36%) shooting in the final 20 minutes, while The Master’s offense hit 15-of-30.
“We talked at halftime of how many games we had the lead at the half and lost the game,” said Head Coach Kelvin Starr. “We had to stay consistent and continue with the defensive pressure. In the GSAC, if you let up you pay the price.”
For the game the Mustangs dropped 30-of-63 (48%) through the net, but struggled from distance. On the season, TMU shoots better than 37% from behind the arc, but on Saturday could only get 5-of-23 (22%) to drop. The Master’s out-rebounded WJU 45-38, including 12 offensive boards that led to 16 second chance points.
Kaleb Lowery collected his ninth double-double of the season, leading the team with 19 points and 10 rebounds. The two-time All-GSAC selection continues to lead the conference in boards, averaging over 10 per game.
“We defended really well, but we were better converting offensively today then we were against Menlo (Thursday),” said Starr. “To hold a team like Jessup in the 60s and win the rebound battle is really something.”
Jordan Caruso finished with 18 points and Kamrin Oriol was once again strong off the bench with 15, sinking three of the Mustangs five 3s in the game.
“I’m really excited that every guy who got on the floor today contributed to this win,” Starr said.
The Master’s will be back on the road Thursday, Jan. 12 as they travel to El Cajon to take on the San Diego Christian Hawks. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
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