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College women’s hoops: TMC loses in GSAC quarterfinals; awaits postseason fate

Posted: February 27, 2013 10:16 p.m.
Updated: February 27, 2013 10:16 p.m.

The Master's College's Lena Rivera (14) passes to a teammate against Biola defender Elizabeth Munger (10) at Bross Gym on Wednesday.

 

Ideally, The Master’s College women’s basketball team would have liked to head into the NAIA National Tournament with a little bit of momentum.

Instead, the Mustangs learned a lesson about how physical it will have to play come tournament time next month.

TMC lost 56-51 to Biola University on Wednesday night in the Golden State Athletic Conference Tournament quarterfinals at Bross Gym.

Even so, given TMC’s NAIA No. 11 ranking and 25-5 record, all signs seem to point to an at-large bid to the NAIA Tournament, which begins March 13.

But until March 7, when the tournament bracket is released, the Mustangs will have to think about how Wednesday night’s game got away.

“We really needed (this loss) to motivate us and humble us a little bit,” said TMC senior guard Lena Rivera. “And it let us know we have a long way to go.”

Coming into the night, TMC averaged nearly 75 points per game, but 30 percent shooting and lack of execution down the stretch led to a season-low point total.

The Eagles (16-16), despite coming in as the No. 6 team in the conference, wore down TMC with tough, gritty defense and aggressive play on the offensive end.

Biola got to the free-throw line toward the end of the game, and it knocked down all 13 of its foul shots in the game, all of which came in the second half.

TMC had a chance to take the lead late, trailing 50-49 with slightly more than a minute to play with the ball.

Zoe Scott’s 3-point attempt rattled in and out and Biola got the rebound in a possession befitting of the entire game for the Mustangs.

Rivera and Jacquelyn Marshall each scored 14 points to lead TMC. Marshall added 11 rebounds.

At one point midway through the second half, TMC led 40-31, but the Eagles answered with a 19-4 scoring run to take control 50-44.

“Basketball is a game of momentum, and we just talked about weathering those runs,” said Biola head coach Bethany Miller.

Despite the loss, TMC already has its most wins since the 2005-06 season and it will likely earn its first NAIA Tournament bid since 2007-08.


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