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Men's college basketball: TMC bounces back at home

After Tuesday loss, the Mustangs easily handle San Diego Christian

Posted: January 29, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: January 29, 2012 1:55 a.m.

The Master’s College’s Richard LaFleur (24), shoots against San Diego Christian College defenders Arturo Prieto (21) and Rafael Rodriguez (11) at TMC on Saturday.

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Not a whole lot can slow down a team in the middle of one of its best seasons in school history.

Coming off a disappointing road loss and playing without one of its leading scorers, The Master’s College men’s basketball didn’t have much trouble taking care of business at home, beating San Diego Christian 60-47 on Saturday at Bross Gym.

Earlier this week, TMC cracked the top 10 of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics coaches poll for the first time this season.

With Saturday’s victory, the Mustangs (15-6, 7-3 Golden State Athletic Conference) are off to their best start in the GSAC since joining the conference in 2001.

“I wish we could enjoy it,” said TMC head coach Chuck Martin. “We can’t. You can just as easily go on a three-game winning streak as you can a three-game losing streak (in this conference).”

But after a 77-63 loss to Azusa Pacific on Tuesday, the Mustangs, at least for the time being, avoided the start of any kind of losing skid and moved back into a four-way tie for the conference lead.

The typical formula worked against SDC (5-12, 1-9), which shot just 33.3 percent and never led in the game.

Offensively, TMC had to spread the scoring out with junior guard Devin Dyer out with an abdominal injury he sustained on Tuesday.

Dyer will be sidelined at least 2-4 weeks, Martin said.

In his place, fellow guards Anthony Cammon, Leif Karlberg and Mike Harmon were called upon to do most of the scoring, combining for 42 of the team’s points.

Harmon led with 16 while Karlberg and Cammon posted 13 apiece.

The three of them keyed an early 20-7 lead which set the tone for a game controlled by the Mustangs from beginning to end.

Despite losing the rebounding battle 43-30, TMC was more patient on offense, running down the shot clock and making enough passes to find an open man.

Though the game was well in hand most of the night, both teams went through scoring lulls.

The Hawks tried to play a similar style, but had a hard time dealing with the Mustangs’ relentless defense that held SDC to just 29 points until the last 4:08 when TMC emptied its bench.

It was a 31-14 Mustangs lead at halftime.

“We struggled scoring points at times, but we never struggled defending them,” Martin said.

Benji Arvizu was the only Hawks player to score in double figures, finishing with 12 points.

TMC led by as much as 54-29 until SDC rattled off 15 straight points over the next three minutes to make it a 10-point game.

It was the biggest scoring run by either team.

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