In a season that has put the Warriors through the wringer time and time again, the latest heartbreaker occurred in Santa Clarita on Saturday night. At one point, Westmont led by 12. With two seconds to go in regulation, and four seconds left in overtime, Westmont led by two.

Ultimately, however, The Master’s defeated Westmont by a score of 77-76.

Throughout the course of the evening, Westmont surrendered 15 rebounds that accounted for 20 second-chance points, and committed 17 turnovers that turned into 14 points for The Master’s.

Cly Griffith Jr., who shot six of 10 from the field in a 16-point effort, got the Warriors going early on in the first half. Griffith converted a layup in the first half that broke a 7-7 tie, and another moments later that gave Westmont a two-possession game at 13-9. The club would hold on to their lead until the final six minutes of regulation.

Griffith drained a three with 9:40 to go in the first half to push the lead to 21-13. Then, with 4:56 to play in the half, Tyler Austin converted a 3-pointer that gave Westmont a game-high 29-17 advantage.

From there, the Mustang’s first surge led the deficit being cut to three by halftime. In the final three minutes of the first half, TMU outscored Westmont 15-6. The Warriors, while leading at half, failed to capitalize on the poor shooting of the Mustangs who shot three of 17 from beyond the arc.

Westmont held TMU to a 36% field goal percentage in the first half, while shooting north of 50% themselves. Unfortunately for the Warriors, however, TMU recorded 11 points off of second-chances in the first half alone.

After back-to-back free throws from Jared Brown and a 3-pointer from Ajay Singh, Westmont jumped to a 42-34 advantage to begin the second half. Westmont’s lead remained consistently around that eight-point margin for the first ten minutes of the half.

Then, an offensive rebound led to a layup, a steal led to a dunk, and another offensive board led to a three that allowed TMU to pull within one point with 8:20 to play. With 3:31 to play in a 56-56 tie, Jalen Townsell, who led Westmont with 19 points, buried a 3-pointer to reclaim the lead for the Warriors.

Up to that point in the game, The Master’s was 5-28 from three-point range. The home team then proceeded to hit back-to-back threes to take a one-point advantage following a Westmont layup.

After a layup from Singh, Jalen Townsell converted one of two free throws to give Westmont a 64-62 advantage. Then, with two seconds remaining, Caden Starr converted on a contested layup to send the game to overtime.

TMU outscored Westmont 7-2 over the first two minutes of overtime to take a game-high 71-66 lead for the Mustangs. Then, Townsell and Griffith combined to score six unanswered points to take a 72-71 lead.

After The Master’s scored to reclaim a one-point advantage in the final minute of action, the final moment to go the Warriors’ way left the road team believing they may escape the night with a victory.

With 28 seconds to play, Austin went up for a tip-in following a missed three-point attempt, and made the basket as he was fouled. Westmont’s bench and packed student section erupted with joy and a hint of relief as it looked as though the tide had turned one final time.

Austin converted the free throw, and twenty seconds later had a chance for two more. Austin converted just one of the two free throws, and in the final seconds of overtime, Westmont led 76-74.

With four seconds to play, The Master’s Ryan Beddeo went up for a layup and was fouled as his shot rolled in. The game was tied and the home fans in Santa Clarita rose to their feet as the Mustang’s fate on Saturday night began to set in.

Beddeo converted the free throw to put The Master’s up 77-76, and Westmont was unable to get a shot off in the final four seconds of play.

The Warriors were left to cycle through a gym floor that had been invaded by a crowd of TMU students. The sight was eerily similar for the Warriors who led their own student body to put The Master’s in the same situation just two months ago.

On this night however, the students who rushed the floor were donning blue and yellow, while the men in maroon were left to make their way to the locker room, still in search of a momentum-shifting win.

The club returns to their home court on Tuesday night, when they host West Coast Baptist at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are available on the Westmont Athletics website.