The Westmont men’s basketball team was held to its lowest point total in four years, falling 71-60 to the Master’s in a Golden State Athletic Conference game in Santa Clarita on Wednsday.
The Mustang’s defense held Westmont to a field goal percentage of 32.8% (21-64), which was nearly 25% lower than the team’s season average coming into the night (56.5%). TMU (6-3, 1-2) locked down Westmont from beyond the arc as well. The Warriors came in shooting 47.8% as a team and made only five of 24 shots from 3-point range.
“It felt like we were lucky to get 60 points, as crazy as that sounds,” said Westmont head coach Landon Boucher. “It was the first time we’ve played in an environment like that and we have a bunch of junior college guys who haven’t seen an environment like that since high school. The environment wore on us tonight and inhibited us from being on the same page on both ends of the floor.
“These are growing pains that we’re feeling right now and I knew we’d go through this at some point in the season. It’s a bummer that it’s at Master’s, but hopefully we can learn from the negatives, because I don’t know if there were many positives tonight.”
Leading 32-31 entering the final minute of the first half, TMU went on a five-point run, which included a back-breaking 3-pointer. The Mustangs missed their first eight shots from downtown, but as time expired in the half, Caleb Lowry drained a 3-pointer to send TMU into the locker room with momentum, and a 37-31 advantage.
In the second half, Westmont never got back within five.
“I’m hopeful we can learn from the negatives and be better in big games,” reflected Boucher. “This was a big game and an important game, as every league game is. Especially a rivalry game like this, we need to be better in this situation.”
The Warriors (8-3, 2-1 GSAC) now have an eight day break in-between contests, with their next game scheduled for Thursday, December 8, against Hope International in Fullerton