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The Lady Mustangs pull away from Cougars in the second half

Posted: December 12, 2008 10:12 p.m.
Updated: December 13, 2008 4:55 a.m.

The Master's College's Brooke Bekandam (22) shoots over APU's Cherie Hughes Friday at Bross Gym.

 
On paper, The Master’s College’s women’s basketball team was supposed to lose.

Not to mention the team had only practiced with five players all week.

Injuries and illness left the Lady Mustangs with a small bench.

But despite the disadvantages, TMC defeated the NAIA’s No. 5 ranked Azusa Pacific 75-68 at Bross Gym on Friday night.

“I like being the underdog,” said TMC guard Erica Inge. “Beating this team just shows how good we actually are. We feel like we can beat anyone.”

Inge’s 13 points and four assists helped lead the No. 22 ranked Mustangs over the Cougars.

Though the score and that statistics didn’t reflect it, the Lady Mustangs pretty much owned the first half.

TMC shot 11-of-32 in the first half while Azusa Pacific went 12-of-31 from the field.

It was a back-and-forth battle until TMC opened up an 11-0 scoring run midway through the first half to put the Lady Mustangs up 26-16.

Behind aggressive play in the paint from Cougars’ center Kristie Hala’ufia, who had two three-point plays, Azusa Pacific rallied.

Hala’ufia led the Cougars’ in scoring finishing the contest with 24 points. She also added nine rebounds and two assists.

A Cougars’ 3-point shot by C.J. Hill in the final minute of the first half tied the game at 31 going into halftime.

APU went on a 12-2 run to close out the half.

The opening of the second half saw an aggressive Cougars’ team pulling ahead by as much as seven at 42-35.

But Inge brought her team back.

She scored six points in a 9-0 run to put the Lady Mustangs back up at 44-42.

TMC capitalized on Cougars’ miscues and 24 turnovers.

“We just didn’t play well,” said Cougars’ head coach T.J. Hardeman. “We’re very young and I think our youth showed. We struggled to defend the ball and that made it tough. In this league everyone knows that The Master’s is good. You can’t go on the road being complacent.”

With 1:38 left in the game the Lady Mustangs went ahead 68-62.

Azusa Pacific closed the gap briefly at 68-64, but with time winding down and the Cougars  in foul trouble,  TMC went  to the free throw line five times to close out the game.

“We said no matter what, we were going to leave it all out on the floor,” said Lady Mustangs head coach Dan Waldeck. “We came out and played as hard as possible and I’m very proud of my team. We fought like crazy and attacked at every position.”

TMC’s Amanda Durocher led all scorers with 25 points.  She also added seven rebounds.

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