SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – Jacquelyn Marshall's 20 points and 18 rebounds played a pivotal role in The Master's College women's basketball team's 73-52 victory over Westmont in the GSAC Tournament's Semifinal round.
After an early dogfight where the lead changed 4 times and the score tied 5 times in the opening 11 minutes, the seventh-ranked Lady Mustangs managed to hold off the 11th-ranked Warriors for the rest of the night.
TMC finished the night by going 27-69 (39%) from the field, 6-17 35% behind the arc, and 13-21 (61%) from the charity stripe.
Freshman standout Megan Lindsley (Vancouver, WA) complimented Marshall's efforts by draining 18 more points.
"Jacquelyn and Megan have been huge for us this year," commented head coach Dan Waldeck. "I'm thrilled for them and the work they put in to achieve our goals."
Shanon Kingery (West Hills, CA) followed by putting up 8 points, while Whitney Best (Snohomish, WA) and Kelly Burns (Yorba Linda, CA) each tallied 7 more.
With the win, the Lady Mustangs (24-7) are now slated to face Hope International in the GSAC Tournament Championship game Tuesday night at 5:30 PM. It will be TMC's first showing in the championship game since 2006 when they beat Point Loma University 61-49.
"It's always great to be playing for the GSAC Championship," assessed Waldeck. "Our goal at the beginning of the season was to put ourselves in the position to do this, and we have one more big mountain to climb in a game against Hope International. They are a great team and they are playing extremely well."
While the Lady Mustangs were putting on the finishing touches in their masterful performance over the defending NAIA national champions, Hope International was doing the unthinkable by beating the first-ranked Vanguard Lions 80-76 in Costa Mesa. Notably, it was Vanguard's first loss of the 2013-14 season.
When asked if his squad has the potential to look past Tuesday's game and onto the NAIA National Tournament, Waldeck responded with a confident, "No way. Our team is totally focused, and we are excited to play. Our big focus this year has been to give everything we have to the Lord, and have Him give the increase. He has seemed fit do to that for us this year."
As of late, the Lady Mustangs have had little trouble with the Royals. In this year's conference schedule opener, TMC topped the Royals 84-72 in Fullerton. Later, on March 1, the Lady Mustangs beat HIU 85-70 at Bross Court. In fact, the last time Hope International beat the Lady Mustangs dates back to January 7, 2012. That evening the Royals won 73-64, sparking a four game losing streak for TMC.
And while history has the tendency of repeating itself, as Waldeck mentioned earlier, there's no way his squad is anywhere near starting to look past Hope International.
After all, they're exactly where they want to be.