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Second half dooms TMC

Mustangs can still may playoffs with win Monday or Vanguard loss

Posted: March 1, 2009 1:54 a.m.
Updated: March 1, 2009 4:55 a.m.

TMC's Ryan Zamroz (5) charges past Point Loma's Nic Van Weelden (3) Saturday at Bross Gym.

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The Master’s College men’s basketball missed out on a chance to lock up a Golden State Athletic Conference playoff berth Saturday, but Point Loma Nazarene booked its postseason ticket with a 72-67 win at Bross Gym.

After a plodding first half the Sea Lions (15-15, 7-13) found their offense in the second frame.

“Their ball screen offense really hurt us in the second half,” said TMC guard Ryan Zamroz. “They got some really good point guard play tonight, and their big guys stepped up.”

Point Loma led 28-23 at intermission, despite shooting 1-of-8 on 3-point attempts.

The second half belonged to Point Loma senior forward Curtis Carlson. Carlson scored the Sea Lions’ first six points in he frame, and he racked up 29 total to lead all scorers.

“I just stayed in our offense,” Carlson said. “I stuck with my teammates and made my shots.”

Carlson ended the game 10-of-12 from the field.

Zamroz led the Mustangs (15-14, 7-12) with 27 points.

“We didn’t quit tonight,” Zamroz said. “I know people say it a lot, but we really left it all on the floor.”

The Mustangs could have packed it in late when Point Loma stretched its lead 16 with less than three minutes to play, and Jeremy Haggerty became the third Mustang player to foul out, but TMC hung tough, while the Sea Lions struggled at the line.

“Free throws are big, and we weren’t making them there for a while,” Carlson said. “It was important for us to start knocking those down.”

The Master’s went on an 11-0 run with just over a minute left in the game to cut the lead to 70-64, but a pair of late Point Loma free throws with 13 seconds remaining put the game out of reach for TMC.

“The tempo of the game was a lot faster in the second half,” Carlson said. “They pressed us a lot, and I think that sped everything up. We had to react to what they were trying to do to us, and it worked out pretty well.”

The Sea Lions are likely going to be the seventh seed in the GSAC tournament, while a playoff berth for the Mustangs is still possible.

Either a win Monday against first place Fresno Pacific or a loss by Vanguard would give TMC the final playoff spot.

“We know what we have to work on for our next game,” Zamroz said. “We have to practice our zone offense to play a team like Fresno Pacific. Hopefully, our shots are dropping.”

kdamore@the-signal.com

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