Mustangs turn over loss to Southern Oregon

November 25, 2017

TMU head coach Dan Waldeck and his Lady Mustangs would be the first to admit it's hard to win a game when you commit 24 turnovers.

That much was borne out Saturday afternoon when Southern Oregon harassed the Mustangs up and down 94 feet of hardwood and escaped with a 78-70 victory.

"Sometimes we'll overcome our weaknesses," said Waldeck.  "But, today we had too many turnovers and defensive breakdowns to get the victory."

The loss snapped the Mustangs' six-game winning streak and dropped them to 6-2. 

The Raiders' up-tempo style of play that features an aggressive, in-your-face defense to fuel it is very similar to TMU's and it was on display in a very entertaining first quarter.

Capitalizing on four Mustang turnovers in a two-minute stretch of the opening stanza, the Raiders used an 11-2 run to take a 19-9 lead. 

The Raiders outscored the Mustangs 8-1 on points off turnovers in the first quarter.

Anika's Neuman's seven first-quarter points kept the Mustangs in the game and two Hannah Forrar free throws late in the stanza capped an 8-2 burst that drew TMU within 23-21 at the end of the quarter.

The Mustangs' late first-quarter burst carried over into the next 10 minutes when Neuman's six straight points in a 74-second window vaulted TMU into a 27-23 lead.

However, the turnover bugaboo showed up again for the Mustangs and the Raiders took advantage with an 11-0 run that turned a four-point deficit into a 34-27 lead at the 6:22 mark.

At the other end, the Mustangs weren't able to generate much offense, scoring just five points over the final six minutes before going to intermission down 38-32.

Seventeen Mustang turnovers led to 15 Raider points in the first half.  Neuman, for whom the Raiders had no answer, almost single-handedly kept the Mustangs within striking distance, scoring 17 points in just 14 minutes of play.

The Mustangs took much better care of the ball in the third quarter, however, their lack of accuracy from the field in the opening minutes of the stanza enabled Southern Oregon to get out and run.  And, run they did to a 48-36 lead at the 5:44 mark.

Just as quickly, though, the momentum shifted as Brooke Bailey's jumper and three-pointer started and capped a 9-0 run that pulled the Mustangs within 48-45 at the 4:32 mark.

Another Bailey trifecta almost three minutes later (1:45) gave the Mustangs their first lead since the opening minutes of play, 54-52.

TMU led 56-55 at the end of three quarters.

Neuman's jumper eight seconds into the fourth quarter was a good start for the Mustangs and gave them their largest lead of the afternoon.

Rocked back on their heels, the Raiders responded with a decisive 12-1 run that was completed by Remi Mejia's three-pointer for a 67-59 lead with 6:13 left to play.  Mejia finished with a team-high 24 points.

The Mustangs never fully recovered.

They pulled within four points (67-63) on a Neuman free throw with 5:20 remaining but the Raiders raced away on the strength of an 8-2 spurt.

The Mustangs would get no closer than six points the rest of the way.

Neuman led the Mustangs with 21 points on 11-14 shooting and took down eight rebounds.  Forrar and Bailey tallied 10 points apiece while Rebekah Throns put together a solid line off the bench, scoring nine points, grabbing a game-high nine rebounds, and dishing out a game-tying high five assists.

Waldeck summed up his team's attitude following the streak-breaking loss.  "We move on and don't get too high after victories or too low after defeats.  This team is extremely resilient and I'm confident in its ability to bounce back next week."

Their first chance to prove their coach's words will come next Thursday (November 30) when they play at the University of LaVerne.