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TMC men's basketball: TMC hangs on

Mustangs stave off Point Loma Nazarene’s late charge

Posted: January 23, 2010 11:18 p.m.
Updated: January 24, 2010 4:55 a.m.

The Master's College guard Joey Fuca (10) drives to the basket against Point Loma Nazarene's DeAndre Jones on Saturday at Bross Gym. Fuca led the Mustangs with 24 points in his teams 74-71 win over the Sea Lions.

After an up-and-down week on the road, The Master's College men's basketball team was happy to be home on Saturday.

The Mustangs took control of Point Loma Nazarene early but ended up having to hang on for a 74-71 win at Bross Gym.

"It was a typical GSAC game," said head coach Chuck Martin, lamenting the parity of the Mustangs' Golden State Athletic Conference. "Usually, you have seven good teams. This year, I think there are 11."

Mustangs point guard Joey Fuca hit a pair of 3-pointers to help the Mustangs race out to a 15-6 lead, before Sea Lions head coach Ethan Hamilton needed a timeout.

Point Loma got several quick scores from guard Nate Van Weelden and brought it to 15-13 before TMC freshman guard Leif Karlberg hit his second 3-pointer to push the Mustangs' lead to five.

Outside shooting got the Mustangs going early as Fuca matched Karlberg from beyond the arc with his second 3-pointer.

Fuca led the team in scoring with 24 points.

But otherwise TMC (13-6, 6-3) stagnated in the first half and allowed the Sea Lions to stay close. Point Loma also controlled the battle inside, outscoring the Mustangs in points in the paint by a margin of 36 to 16 on the evening.

Two Fuca turnovers led to a pair of buckets by Sea Lion Rhett Beal, as Point Loma kept the score close.

The Sea Lions forced 10 first-half turnovers, but their defense couldn't keep up with the Mustangs' ability to hit from distance.

Momentum seemed to see-saw back and forth until a pair of steals by Karlberg turned into his third 3-pointer and then a drive and finish by Fuca. Karlberg finished the game with 12 points, all from beyond the arc.

"That's college basketball," Martin said. "You have to make those big shots, and I think we did a good job of that tonight."

The undermanned Sea Lions (5-13, 2-8) struggled in the first half due the defensive efforts of TMC's Raphael Harris, Everett Bryson and Dean Hadley. Hadley's ninth point of the first half put the team up 36-26 before Point Loma closed the half trailing 38-30.

Hadley pushed the lead to 47-35 three minutes into the second half with his second 3-pointer of the night, and the Mustangs were cruising. Hadley finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds and three steals.

But TMC began to turn it over again and let the Sea Lions back in with sloppy play.

The Mustangs withstood a late charge as Point Loma brought the ga--e within one midway through the second half. The Sea Lions only trailed 58-57 at that point, and for the last eight minutes with both teams in foul trouble, it was a dogfight.

Point Loma center Paul Holtfrerich made it 68-67 with 90 seconds left, before Thomas Millar got a clutch rebound off a Bryson miss at the other end of the floor.

Millar drew the Sea Lions' 11th foul of the half and hit two free throws with 55 seconds left to give the Mustangs a 70-67 lead. The senior forward added six points and six rebounds for TMC.

TMC forced a bad turnover on a Point Loma possession with 33 seconds left, and then secured the win at the free-throw line.

"We're missing a few guys and we just didn't have the firepower tonight," said Sea Lions head coach Ethan Hamilton. "We didn't take good care of the basketball."

The Mustangs play Fresno Pacific on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in Bross Gym.


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