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College basketball: Wrong time to sink

TMC men lose third straight game

Posted: February 22, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: February 22, 2012 1:55 a.m.

The Master’s College guard Devin Dyer (5)looks for a shot against Azusa Pacific defenders on Tuesday at TMC.

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The Master’s College men’s basketball team hung with NAIA No. 24 Azusa Pacific for as long as it could on Tuesday night at Bross Gym.

But once Azusa Pacific started to heat up from the field with just over 10 minutes to go in the first half, it never looked back in an 82-67 defeat of The Master’s in a Golden State Athletic Conference contest.

B.J. Porter came off the bench for Azusa Pacific (22-7, 11-6) to score 23 points, including five 3-pointers to lead the Cougars.
As a team, they knocked down nine 3-pointers in the contest.

“It’s not like we don’t know how to guard 3-point shooters,” said TMC head coach Chuck Martin said. “It’s just, for whatever reason, we didn’t do that tonight.”

Azusa Pacific struggled from the field in the early going, but focused on getting points inside the paint and getting to the foul line.

The Cougars shot 23-for-26 from the line, compared with TMC’s 7-for-9 night.

TMC (17-12, 9-8) came out shooting, hitting two 3-pointers to take a quick six point lead. But that lead would be the largest of the night for the Mustangs, who found themselves trailing by 12 at halftime, thanks in large part to Upton’s four first-half 3-pointers.

“We really dug a hole for ourselves because we didn’t control their 3-point shooters,” Martin said.

The Cougars bounced back from early struggles to shoot 50-percent in the first half, and 52.1 percent for the game.

The Master’s held its own in the second half, hitting big shots to hang around.

“With a team that shoots from three as well as they do, no lead is safe,” said Cougars’ head coach Justin Leslie.

The Mustangs cut the Cougars’ lead to 46-40 after Leif Karlberg hit two 3-pointers to start the half. But TMC couldn’t complete the comeback and was never able to get back in the game.

Karlberg led the Mustangs with 16 points and seven rebounds, including four 3-pointers. Anthony Cammon added 11 points and Devin Dyer scored nine.

The Mustangs have now lost three in a row, and will look to end their losing streak in the final regular season contest on Saturday at Biola.

“We’re losing games right now because we haven’t shot the ball well, and defensively we’re not as good as we were,” Martin said. “It’s us not executing as well as we were defensively and playing nationally ranked teams almost every night in this league.”

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