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Firing on All Cylinders

Posted: February 22, 2008 10:35 a.m.
Updated: April 24, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Junior forward Jeremy Haggerty (21) of The Master's College goes in for a dunk in the first half of Thursday's game against California Baptist. Haggerty scored 25 points in an 81-73 win at home over the No. 11 Lancers.

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The Master's College guard Ryan Zamroz said he saw a first on Thursday night at home against California Baptist.

"This might be one of the first games where Jeremy (Haggerty), Eric (Durso), and I have been firing on all cylinders," he said.

The result was an 81-73 win over the NAIA 11th-ranked Lancers at Bross Gym, bringing the unranked Mustangs (14-12, 8-8) back to .500 in Golden State Athletic Conference play.

Zamroz finished with a game-high 31 points, including an 11-for-11 night from the charity stripe.

Haggerty was a matchup problem all night for Cal Baptist (20-5, 12-5), scoring 25 points. The senior forward Durso chipped 13 points and was 4-for-5 from 3-point range.

It was a second-half charge that allowed the Mustangs to survive a dozen 3-pointers from the Lancers, including eight in the first half. Dave Cernin led Cal Baptist with 18 points.

After TMC was down 36-32 at the break, the duo of Zamroz and Haggerty combined to score all the points in an 11-2 run in the second half.

The Canyon graduate Haggerty hit a basket to tie the game at 45 and converted his free throw on the play to put TMC ahead for the first time since the score was 11-10 Mustangs.

"All week long, our coaching staff worked on getting in rhythm," Haggerty said. "That was the biggest thing for me, getting in a rhythm."

Zamroz found himself in a rhythm in the second half, scoring 27 of his points in the final frame.

When the Lancers were down by just four points, Zamroz dribbled around the top of the arc and dropped a 3-pointer with the shot clock in its final ticks and with a defender in his face, pushing the lead back to seven at 64-57 with six minutes left.

The senior Zamroz and the 6-foot-6 junior Haggerty combined for 39 points in the second half.

"Tonight he got into a groove offensively, and that's good for us," said TMC head coach Chuck Martin of Haggerty. "He's hard to guard when he's in a groove."

Cal Baptist continued to hang around, getting as close as three points in the final 2:12 of the game, but the Mustangs were 9-of-11 down the stretch from the line to preserve the win.

TMC shot 57.1 percent for the game and 60 percent from the floor in the second half, but it was the Mustangs' defense and play on the boards that made the biggest difference in the eyes of Martin.

When the two teams met on Jan. 17 in a 66-56 Lancers win, Cal Baptist out-rebounded TMC 43-27. On Thursday, they were even at 29 apiece.

It was also the second straight win at home for the Mustangs, who have been tough in Bross Gym almost all year, save for a stretch from Jan. 29- Feb. 9 where TMC lost three straight on its home court.

The Mustangs have four GSAC games left, with three of those coming on the road.

"We're still in the race," Martin said. "We're back in the race, and that's what matters."

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