PHOENIX, Ariz. --- Arizona Christian University's men's basketball team redeemed itself Saturday evening, as the Firestorm defeated the Mustangs of The Master's College with an 81-70 victory.
With the win, Arizona Christian improves to 18-5 on the season and 4-4 in conference play. The Mustangs fall to 14-9 on the season and 2-6 in the GSAC.
"We did a much better job defensively against The Master's this time around and our decision making on offense continues to improve," said head coach Jeff Rutter. "Talib had another 30 points and did so without forcing anything. He was pretty efficient tonight."
The Firestorm opened up the game taking an early 9-0 lead. ACU increased its lead to 12 at the 11:10 mark after going on a 7-1 run. The Firestorm finished the first half with a comfortable double-digit lead going into the break up by 12, 40-28.
ACU shot a blistering 51.7 percent from the field and was led by Talib Uqdah. Uqdah went 6-for-10 with 13 points.
"I'm pleased with our improvement," said Rutter. "The guys have been working hard and coming together, and it showed with a couple good victories this week."
ACU started the second half with back to back threes by Uqdah and Newman to increase its lead to 16, 46-30. Uqdah continued to hurt the Mustangs with his 3-point shooting, as he went 4-for-5 from the deep ball.
Every effort the Mustangs made to get back into the game the Firestorm would halt with its excellent shooting from the field.
The Firestorm finished the night shooting 47.3 percent from the floor and 40 percent from the 3-point line.
Uqdah finished the night with his third 30-point game with 33 points, while adding on three assists and four steals. Going into the game, Uqdah was tied with Houston Friend from the 2009-10 season with most threes made in a single season at ACU (84). Uqdah now is at the top spot in the record books with 89 total threes with six games still left in the season.
Brandon Newman also had a stellar night recording 15 points and four rebounds, while Jackson Helms added on 10 points and grabbed seven boards.
ACU out-rebounded the Mustangs 39-27 and recorded more points in the paint and off turnovers.
"Tuesday will be a big test," mentioned Rutter. "Hope is a couple possessions away from being in the top 10. They are as good as anyone in our league and we will need a great defensive effort to have a chance on Tuesday."
ACU will travel to Hope International next week on Feb. 11 when they tip off at 8:30p.m. (Arizona Time)