Game Recap By Don Gilmore, TMU Assistant SID
Playing outstanding defense and controlling the boards will win a lot of games for any team.
The Master’s University women’s basketball team is finding out how valuable that combination is as it rolled to a 93-30 victory over visiting Life Pacific on Saturday evening on Bross Court.
The No. 10 Mustangs have now won eight in a row and 11 of their last 12 to improve to 16-4 overall and 8-1 in the GSAC where they share first place with No. 24 Arizona Christian, which will visit TMU on Thursday.
Stephanie Soares led five Mustangs in double figures with 17 points, and her 20 rebounds gave her a nation-leading 16th double-double of the season. Jamilee Iddings, who drained a trio of three-pointers, finished with 15 points, while Anika Neuman and Brooke Bailey tossed in 11 points apiece.
“After a string of close games, it was great to see the girls play through some early struggles,” said head coach Dan Waldeck. “We saw multiple lineups and I thought our defense and rebounding was the star of the night.”
The Mustangs, coming off wins over No. 15 Westmont and No. 9 Vanguard, fell behind 7-6 but closed the opening quarter with a 7-0 run.
It was the ninth time in the past five outings that the Mustangs have held an opponent under double digits in a quarter.
That number would go up over the next two stanzas.
However, the Warriors didn’t go away just yet. They ripped off seven straight points and tied the game at 14-all on an Allison Ayala three-pointer with 8:20 left in the second quarter.
That seemed to get the Mustangs’ attention.
So much so that the Warriors didn’t score again in the stanza while the Mustangs scored the final 28 points to lead 42-14 at the break.
During the final 8:20, the Warriors missed 17 consecutive shots and the Mustangs turned eight turnovers into nine points during the quarter.
At the other end, Soares took over. She scored 13 points during the burst and got some help from sophomore Neuman, junior Hannah Forrar, and senior Iddings, who buried three-pointers along the way.
Soares had 13 points and 16 rebounds at halftime.
The run extended into the third quarter where the Mustangs scored the first 18 points as Iddings drained another trifecta to get the team going in what turned out to be a jaw-dropping 46-0 run.
The Mustangs shot 53.6 percent from the field in the third and led 75-19 after three.
The comfortable lead enabled Waldeck to play the entire roster and the bench wound up contributing 53 points.
“We were able to get everyone some needed experience in key spots and roles,” said Waldeck. “So I’m looking forward to seeing how that helps us in the second half of conference play.”
Jessica Soares pulled down a season-high 12 rebounds, contributing to the Mustangs’ 72-38 advantage on the boards. And Tristen Coltom scored 10 points.
Here’s the box score.
Waldeck’s allusion to the second half of GSAC play becomes reality Thursday evening when first place in the conference will be on the line as the Mustangs welcome Arizona Christian to Bross Court.
The teams squared off back on Dec. 1 with the Firestorm winning 71-63.
Since that loss, Mustangs are 11-1 and have held opponents to an average of 43 points per game.