Santa Clarita, CA - Hope International used a 64-58 win over The Master's College on Saturday to wrap a third place finish in the GSAC. Junior Matt Green topped all scorers with 17 points. Sophomore Garrett Neilan was close behind with 15 points.
Out of the gate, Green nailed a three pointer on the first HIU possession that was kept alive two offensive rebounds. Green was just getting warmed with the three ball.
Junior Austin Sanford and senior Jeremy Kilgore converted jumpers on back-to-back possessions including Sanford preceding his jumper with another offensive rebound.
The Royals (20-9, 8-6 GSAC) pushed their advantage out to double digits for the first time (19-8) when Neilan made a two while being fouled and dropped in the ensuing free throw at the 9:34 mark.
Eventually HIU built their largest lead of the half of 14 points when Green connected on his fourth of five made three pointers in the first half.
At the break, HIU held a 33-24 lead. Green was the only player in double digits with 15 points- all from behind the three point line.
Neilan gave the Royals an 11 point edge the first time they touched the ball in the second half.
Around the 12 minute mark, Kilgore made two three point plays in a row- a jumper and free throw and then a three pointer- to give HIU an 18 point edge- their largest of the night.
The Mustangs (18-11, 6-8 GSAC) made a push in the final minutes to make the game interesting but Hope International never did allow as much a tie in the entire contest.
Along with Green and Neilan scoring in double digits, Kilgore (13 points) and junior Carlton Hayes (11 points) also joined in on the fun.
TMC also had four in double figures including Bernard Ireland and Korey Anderson at 12 points each.
Odd stat of the night - both teams were 13-18 from the free throw line.
Head Coach Bill Czech said, "Great win. The Master's has been as good as anybody in the GSAC in the second half. For our guys to go on the road and win, we feel very fortunate. Our scout team gave us a tremendous look to help us prepare. The effort of Sanford and Hayes on the offensive boards was the key. Fourteen offensive rebounds for us was really a big, big part of the game. We are playing a great team in Concordia on Thursday. Look forward to having the Royals Rowdies back in force."
On Thursday, the Royals will indeed host Concordia in the first round of the GSAC playoffs in the Darling Pavilion at 7:30 pm.