In the final game before conference play begins, three different Mustangs scored 20-or-more points as The Master’s University men’s basketball team defeated the Mount Royal Cougars 108-84 Friday at The MacArthur Center.
The Mustangs (11-3) hit better than 51% of their shots and out-rebounded the Cougars 53-39 in the game. It was the second time this season TMU scored over 100 points.
“I think the lesson for us is we have to continue to lock in on the defensive end, which opens up our offense,” said TMU head coach Kelvin Starr. “I felt the first 10 minutes of the game we were pretty selfless. When the mentality is ‘I don’t care who scores,’ and the ball moves with 20-plus assists, and you hold your opponent to under 40 percent shooting, you’re going to win the game.”
The only time Mount Royal had a lead was at the beginning of the game when they made the first bucket. After tying it at 6-6, The Master’s went on a 20-0 run to break open the game and take control, cruising to a 57-36 halftime lead.
Opening up a 104-68 lead with 4:33 to play, the Mustangs looked destined to set their season high in scoring (111 against Bethesda on Nov. 10). But the Cougars closed on a 16-4 run to settle the 24-point difference.
Kaleb Lowery led The Master’s with a season-high 27 points and 11 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season. Both Ty Harper and Kamrin Oriol finished with 20 points each.
Caden Starr, who leads the team in 3-point shooting with 49, went 0 for 6 on the night from behind the arc. Still, the 6-7 junior scored 16 points, pulled down nine rebounds, had six steals and added four assists.
“It says a lot when a player can contribute in more ways than just scoring,” Coach Starr said. “(Caden) gets other people involved when he’s struggling, and he showed that tonight.”
The Mustangs will open GSAC play this Thursday when they host the Life Pacific Warriors at 7:30 p.m. in The MacArthur Center. Coach Starr knows his team has looked good in the 14 games leading up to this moment, but it’s different when it’s conference opponents.
“I think we’ve seen a lot of growth for sure, but I’m encouraged that there is still a lot of room for improvement,” he said. “Conference play is a different level, there’s rivalries, you get everybody’s best in conference. You need to be ready for it, so I’m looking forward to the challenge.”