Jordan Caruso’s block with two seconds to play lifted The Master’s University Men’s Basketball team to a 76-72 upset victory over No. 5 Arizona Christian Thursday night in Glendale, Ariz.
It was one of 10 blocks the Mustangs tallied against the Firestorm in the game.
That play started with ACU’s quick guard Dennis Flowers, III driving the baseline with less than five seconds to play. As the defense drew itself to Flowers, he dumped the ball off to Bryce Davis under the basket. Davis went up for what appeared to be an easy game-tying layup.
That’s when Caruso flew in to deny the effort, deny the shot, and deny Arizona Christian the victory.
“Big time play! Big time play,” said Head Coach Kelvin Starr. “We hadn’t done a good job on Bryce Davis, so that was an unbelievable play.”
The win moves the Mustangs into a tie for first in the Golden State Athletic Conference with Arizona Christian.
Caruso was also the star offensively, as he led the Mustangs (14-5, 7-3 GSAC) with 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting and seven rebounds. Kaleb Lowery added 19 with seven rebounds as well, while Victor Ohia Obioha finished with a career-high seven blocks and nine points. Christian Sweazie scored 13, hitting three key free throws in the final moments to help give TMU the cushion.
“I thought Victor was a really good rim protector,” Starr said. “He had those blocks and altered several shots. That was key for us.”
The Master’s shot 25-of-58 (43%) from the field and only made 6-of-26 from long range. And while the Mustang defense held Arizona Christian to 43% from the field as well, the Firestorm could only net three 3-pointers. TMU lost the rebound battle (42-37), were out-scored in the paint (34-27) and fell short on second chance points (22-15).
“I don’t think we had a very good second half but we put together a bunch of plays to win the game,” Starr said. “The guys really deserved this win as they worked really hard this past week.”
But those blocks…
The road trip through Arizona continues on Saturday, Jan. 21 when The Master’s will face the OUAZ Spirit, which is just a game behind the Mustangs in the conference standings. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m. Pacific Time.
For more information visit TMU Sports.