Last week, The Master’s University’s men’s and women’s basketball teams resumed their respective 2016-17 schedules with victories over some of the top teams in the NAIA… Men’s Basketball The Master’s University men’s basketball team improved its record to 11-1 last week after beating UC Merced 78-72 on Thursday and No. 6 Carroll College 84-73 on Friday. Both competitions took place on Bross Court during TMU’s annual New Year’s Classic. Against the UC Merced Bobcats, Lawrence Russell led all scorers with 21 points and notched his fifth consecutive double-double and the eighth in 11 games with a team-high 11 rebounds. Hansel Atencia came off the bench to score 18 points and dish out a game-high five assists. Delewis Johnson, who had come off the bench in the team’s first 10 games, made his first start of the campaign and scored 18 points while taking down seven rebounds. A day later against the sixth-ranked Carroll College Fighting Saints, Reid Shackelford finished with a game-high 30 points, highlighted by a 6-10 showing from behind the arc. Shackelford is shooting just a tick under 45% (44-98) from long distance in his final collegiate season. Travis Yenor complemented his teammate with 15 points, Evan Jenkins and Lawrence Russell added 12 apiece, while Timothy Soares chipped in with 10 more. Boasting their best start in years and proving that they can play with the best in the nation, the Mustangs face their sternest test to date next Tuesday when they travel to La Mirada to take on No. 1 Biola. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Women’s Basketball The Master’s University women’s basketball team improved to 9-3 last week after snagging an impressive trio of wins. On Thursday, the 16th-ranked Mustangs beat the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds 64-40 on the first day of the Westmont Holiday Classic in Santa Barbara. TMU’s Ashley Bartow led all scorers with 12 points, while Megan Lindsley was close behind with 11 points. Elsewhere, Bianca Cubello tallied a team-high eight rebounds and two blocks, Lindsley produced four assists, while Hannah Drivstuen produced four steals. The next day, TMU beat Southwestern College 74-56 on the final day of the Westmont Holiday Classic. TMU’s Hannah Ostrom and Lindsley each scored 13 points, while Cubello posted 10 more. Bartow led TMU in rebounds by grabbing nine boards, while Aubrey Bekendam and Cubello each tallied eight. Lindsley produced four assists, Cubello earned three blocks, and Bartow chipped in three steals. Finally, on Friday, Cubello scored 12 points and yanked down a career-high 17 rebounds to lead The Master’s University to a lopsided 75-42 victory over Goshen of Indiana on New Year’s Eve. Cubello’s 12-point, 17-rebound performance marked her fifth double-double of the season. In search of their first conference win, the Mustangs (0-2 GSAC) will need these contributions and more when they resume GSAC play Tuesday evening at Biola. For more information about The Master’s University Athletics, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @TMUAthletics.