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TMC men find life in finale

Mustangs knock off GSAC’s No. 1

Posted: March 3, 2009 1:54 a.m.
Updated: March 3, 2009 4:55 a.m.
You couldn't ask for more drama from The Master's College men's basketball team.

The Mustangs solidified their trip to the conference tournament Monday night, defeating the Golden State Athletic Conference's No. 1 ranked-Fresno Pacific 75-70 at Bross Gym.

The win puts TMC (16-14, 8-12) at No. 7 heading into the tournament, where it will play at Concordia on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

Having split the season series with the Eagles, head coach Chuck Martin sees the pairing as a positive.

"We match up better with Concordia than this team," Martin said.

TMC would have opened against Fresno Pacific, had the Mustangs lost Monday.

In their final regular season games as Mustangs, seniors Ryan Zamroz and Jeremy Haggerty lifted the team from a nine-point halftime deficit to a stunning victory built off second-half hustle and lights-out shooting.

"It was a great way for Ryan and Jeremy to end their careers here at home," Martin said.

Zamroz paced the Mustangs with 28 points, 22 in the second half alone, including five 3-pointers and 10 rebounds, while Haggerty poured in 25.

The Sunbirds (24-6, 17-3) jumped out quickly in the first half and the Mustangs appeared out-matched as Fresno Pacific guards James Lewis and Marcus West hit shot after shot.

The visitors steadily built a 36-27 halftime lead.

However, the second half brought with it a whole new game.

The crowd fed off every Zamroz and Haggerty bucket.

The excitement surrounding the court appeared to shake the Sunbirds who began to make sloppy plays.

Ultimately, credit the strong play of the TMC defense for keeping Fresno Pacific out of its groove.

Normally a stellar 3-point shooting team, the Mustangs held the Sunbirds to 3-of-16 from beyond the arc in the second half alone.

TMC's lead ballooned to 10 points midway through the second half and soon the Mustangs found themselves knocking down free throws to close the game.

TMC senior center Matt Sowa finished the game with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Sunbirds junior forward Todd Brown was the only other notable performer for Fresno Pacific with 10 points.

TMC came into the game having lost 11 of its last 15 games.


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