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Lady Mustangs show no quit

TMC needs overtime, but closes Fresno Pacific out

Posted: March 3, 2009 1:52 a.m.
Updated: March 3, 2009 4:55 a.m.

The Master's College's Annie Gillespie, center, is defended by Fresno Pacific's MacKenzie Butler (34) and Jessica Torrecillas Monday at Bross Gym.

The Master's College women's basketball team finished the regular season on a high note Monday night, but just barely.

After Fresno Pacific guard Bricali Cooley sent the game to overtime with a 3-pointer at the buzzer, the Mustangs regained control of the game and edged the Sunbirds 67-63 at Bross Gym.

"I'm exhausted and I didn't even play," said TMC head coach Dan Waldeck.

With the win, The Master's is set to face Westmont College on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Westmont in the first round of the Golden State Athletic Conference tournament.

After losing six out of eight games in January and February, the Mustangs (16-13, 11-9) rattled off wins in six of their final eight contests to earn the trip to the postseason.

"We were dead in the water a month ago," Waldeck said. "We didn't quit. The girls didn't quit on each other and they didn't quit on the team."

Fresno Pacific (13-14, 9-11) didn't quit either Monday night despite being down 13 points with nine minutes to go in the game.

Sunbirds head coach Meredith Pulliam called a timeout when the game seemed to get out of control and the Mustangs pushed the advantage to 13.

"(I told them) it was gut-check time," Pulliam said. "Now or never."

Fresno Pacific responded, outscoring the Mustangs 15-2 to end the game, capped off by the aforementioned Cooley 3-pointer.Cooley paced the Sunbirds with 16 points off 6-of-9 shooting, including four threes.

"She's a senior who has really stepped up in the second half of conference play for us," Pulliam said. "Now it looks like we lost our point guard (Jessica Mazza), so she had to step up the scoring for us."

Mazza left the game late in the first half with what Pulliam said appeared to be a broken right foot.

In the extra frame, the Mustangs controlled the pace and outscored their opponent 15-11.

The Sunbirds struggled with the TMC zone defense all night, but stayed alive off of missed Mustang free throws.

TMC was 9-of-18 in the extra five minutes and 19-of-37 for the game.

Mustangs junior Annie Gillespie knocked down seven free throws in overtime and led all scorers with 23 points. She added 11 rebounds, three assists and three 3-pointers.

Stacy Nanninga also had a strong night for TMC with 19 points, nine boards, two assists and two blocks, while Amanda Durocher scored 10.

The Sunbirds jumped on TMC in the first half, building an early nine-point lead off of hot shooting.

The Mustangs took their first lead of the game off a four-point play by Jenni Ritter with 6:12 left in the half.

Consistent help defense kept the Fresno Pacific from getting anything going offensively while the Mustangs build a 33-29 halftime lead.

MacKenzie Butler scored 15 points while Jessica Torrecillas posted 11 for the Sunbirds.


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