TMU Insider: Mustang basketball teams begin conference play

TMU’s Lawrence Russell was named GSAC Player of the Week based on his performance last week. Photo courtesy TMU Sports Information

Last week, The Master’s University basketball teams opened their respective Golden State Athletic Conference schedules against Westmont College and Arizona Christian University…

Men’s Basketball

On Wednesday, The Master’s University men’s basketball team fell to No. 9 Westmont College 84-78 after double overtime on Bross Court.

In the loss, TMU’s Delewis Johnson scored a season-high 25 points after going 10-16 from the field, while teammate Lawrence Russell continued to display a terrific all-around game, scoring 21 points and pulling down a game-high 12 rebounds. Travis Yenor was superb from long range, draining four three-pointers en route to a career-high 19 points.

MORE: Mustangs men’s hoops fall to Westmont College

On Saturday, Russell scored 18 points and pulled down 12 boards in TMU’s 84-79 win over No. 25 Arizona Christian in Phoenix, Arizona. Russell’s point total was equaled by teammate Reid Shackelford, who regained his touch from behind the arc (4-7) en route to 18 points. Matt McClain and Yenor scored 15 points apiece and Johnson was strong off the bench again with 13 more.

Based on his performances last week against the Warriors and the Firestorm, Russell was named the GSAC Men’s Basketball Player of the Week.

Nine games into his first season as a Mustang, the junior transfer has recorded double figures in both points and rebounds six times. He leads the Mustangs in scoring (18.1 ppg) and rebounding (8.8 rpg).

The Mustangs now sit at 8-1 overall and 1-1 in conference play.

On Saturday, TMU will travel to Riverside to play a non-conference game against La Sierra (0-11). Tipoff is set for 6:00 p.m.

Women’s Basketball

Last Wednesday, The Master’s University women’s basketball team narrowly fell to Westmont College as the fourth-ranked Warriors edged No. 16 TMU, 50-47, on Bross Court.

TMU’s Bianca Cubello led the Mustangs with 15 points, six rebounds, three assists, and two blocks, while Ashley Bartow followed with 13 points and five rebounds. Collectively, TMU grabbed 38 rebounds and went 18-51 from the field (35%), 3-9 (33%) from behind the arc, and 8-14 (57%) from the charity stripe.

Then, on Saturday, TMU’s 2016-17 record moved to 6-3 and 0-2 in Golden State Athletic Conference play after falling to Arizona Christian University (6-4, 1-0), 78-68, in overtime.

A trio of Mustangs scored in double-digits as Megan Lindsley led TMU with 21 points while Cubello and Kelly Burns each posted 10 points. Highlighting TMU’s defensive efforts was Bartow by grabbing an evening-high 12 rebounds.

As a team, TMU went 22-59 (37%) from the field, 6-19 (42%) from behind the arc, and 18-23 (78%) on free throws.

In two weeks, TMU will look to return to its winning ways when it battles British Columbia on the first day of the Westmont Holiday Classic. Tipoff is set for 3:00 p.m. on Dec. 29 in Santa Barbara.

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