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The Master's College women's basketball falls in NAIA opening round

TMC loses 73-58 to Carroll College

Posted: March 13, 2013 1:28 p.m.
Updated: March 13, 2013 1:28 p.m.
 

In its first NAIA Division I National tournament appearance since 2008, it was over quicker than expected for The Master’s College women’s basketball team.

The No. 3 seed TMC Mustangs lost 73-58 to the No. 6 seed Carroll College Saints of Montana on Wednesday in the first round of the tournament in Frankfort, Ky. That ends its most successful season since 2005-06.

“I’m proud of my team’s result,” said TMC head coach Dan Waldeck. “We really played hard. It wasn’t for lack of playing hard because I think if we play this same team 10 times, we would probably win eight or nine of them.”

Junior Zoe Scott and senior Lena Rivera each scored 13 points to lead the Mustangs (25-6), who shot 31.3 percent in the game and made 3-of-22 three-point attempts.

Due to Carroll’s defensive strategy which focused on collapsing inside and guarding the post, many of those long-range attempts were wide open for the Mustangs.

Quite simply, Waldeck said, the shots just weren’t falling.

“They hugged our shooters and they doubled our post almost away form the ball,” said Waldeck, who was making his NAIA tournament debut as a head coach. “We missed open shot after open shot and they (defended inside) more and more and we got a little bit tighter.”

TMC led 8-2 early in the game, but saw the advantage quickly vanish as the Saints (21-10) started to make their shots. They went into halftime up 25-18.

Carroll College then put the game out of hand by starting the second half on a 25-8 scoring run to take a 50-26 lead by the 11:49 mark.

Torrie Cahill led the Saints with 26 points and she also pulled down 10 rebounds. Carroll made 52 percent of its shots in the game, including 8-of-16 3-pointers.

As the Saints began to build their lead, the Mustangs were forced to gamble on defense more, which led to easy baskets for Carroll in transition.

“They had some good stuff,” Waldeck said of Carroll’s offense. “They hit every open look they had.”

Jacqui Marshall was the only other TMC player in double figures as she scored 11 points.

Though TMC’s return to the national tournament was brief, it was still the winningest season for the team since reaching the NAIA Final Four in 2006.

“We hit every goal that our team set at the beginning of the year and not many teams can say that,” Waldeck said. “I still believe we have a team that could have competed and probably could have at least gotten to the Elite Eight this year.”

Many of TMC’s core players will return next season, but the team loses three seniors, most notably Theresa Brown and four-year starter Lena Rivera.

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