The Master’s University women’s basketball team got a chance to catch its collective breath Monday night.
The Mustangs picked up a 78-53 non-conference win over Bethesda at Bross Court, two days removed from a loss to Arizona Christian — ranked No. 23 in the latest NAIA women’s basketball coaches poll.
Pitted against a Bethesda team that had just one win through 26 games entering the night, there was plenty TMU was hoping to work on.
Having 12 different players enter the game, assisting on exactly half of the team’s made field goals and employing a bigger lineup checked that box.
There were also the 10 turnovers from the team’s bench that still had coach Dan Waldeck shaking his head after the runaway victory.
“You try to play against your best self in this type of game,” Waldeck said. “Bethesda always plays hard, which is we love playing them. You can’t tell by the record because they’re outmatched physically.”
Anika Neuman led TMU with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Jessica Soares and Hannah Ostrom each had 11 points and Hannah Forrar had 10 points. Soares had seven rebounds as well.
Neuman and Soares, along with Rebekah and Hannah Throns, composed the bigger lineup that Waldeck was hoping to get an extended look at. Each player received over 20 minutes Monday night.
“I thought that group was actually pretty solid, defensively,” Waldeck said. “They also put up some good shots and got us going. You always have to be ready to put different lineups out there.”
Hannah Throns was second on the team with 12 rebounds to go with six points and Rebekah Throns had eight rebounds. Valencia alum Sabrina Thompson led the Mustangs with six assists.
Master’s (17-7, 6-5 Golden State Athletic Conference) opened the game on an 18-2 run but Bethesda (1-26) cut the lead to 19-9 less than a minute into the second quarter. TMU outscored Bethesda 22-12 in the third quarter to put any comeback hopes to rest.
“Coming into a game like this, it’s easy not to play to your full potential,” Neuman said. “I think the second half we stepped it up.”
Neuman, a freshman, couldn’t help but have an eye toward the future by getting the chance to play extended minutes with fellow freshman, Soares.
“Her and I don’t get to play together very much,” Neuman said. “Getting a chance to work together in the post, that’ll be huge for us next year.”
The Mustangs travel to play No. 6 Westmont College on Saturday and will have two games following that before the GSAC Tournament quarterfinals on March 2 in Phoenix, Ariz.