Hosting the No. 3 ranked Wayland Baptist Flying Queens at the MacArthur Center, The Master’s University women’s basketball team found themselves trailing for all but three minutes and 43 seconds of the first half on Monday.
Down 33-26 after one half of play, the Mustangs used their suffocating defense to hold the Flying Queens to 16 points the rest of the way, winning 64-49 and handing Wayland Baptist its first loss of the season.
“I felt like we played a little rough because we hadn’t played in nine days. That definitely proved true,” said TMU’s head coach Dan Waldeck. “They are an excellent team, they are No. 3 for a reason. I was really proud of our kids today.
“We always have a word and our word today was ‘moment.’ That we just needed to stay in the moment and not get too up or down, just play the next play and I thought we did a really good job at that.”
Switching to a zone defense halfway through the second quarter, TMU (8-3 overall, 3-1 in Golden State Athletic Conference) was able to effectively end Wayland Baptist’s scoring by getting into the passing lanes and contesting every drive and shot.
Sparking the Mustangs’ offense, Hannah Forrar hit two 3-pointers on as many trips down the court, cutting into Wayland Baptist’s lead with under two minutes left in the half.
Forrar finished the game with 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting (3-for-4 from 3’s) and five rebounds.
“We have so many girls that can come out and score at any time,” Forrar said. “But for the most part today everybody scored and did their job for the team and if we can play like that every game that’s awesome for us.”
Going scoreless in the first half, TMU sophomore point guard Tristen Coltom came off the bench in the second half and delivered three dagger 3-pointers, none more impressive than her fast-break pull-up 3-pointer to give the Mustangs their first lead of the game at 38-36 since the opening minutes of the game.
“She brings a lot of energy for our team, she’s everywhere,” Forrar said of Coltom. “She’s huge for us both defensively and offensively. I mean, that’s her job, to come out and shoot. She did that and she can shoot from anywhere, so that’s huge for us.”
Defensively, Stephanie Soares and Rebekah Throns gave the visiting team fits by altering their shots and using their size and skill set in the post to grab rebound after rebound.
“We just had to get our confidence and know that our shots were going to fall,” Soares said.
Soares finished with a double-double, scoring 11 points and pulling down 12 rebounds.
Throns finished the game just four points shy of her double-double with six points and 10 rebounds.
Allowing six points in the third quarter and 10 in the fourth, Master’s pulled away in a complete team effort to hand win handily by 15 points.
“It’s exciting,” Soares said. “Now we just have to get ready for the next game. We have to be mentally prepared and play our game.”
The Mustangs play Lewis-Clark State College in the Westmont Tournament at Westmont College on Tuesday at 3 p.m. and play Cornerstone University on Wednesday at 3 p.m.