- Inside Athletics
The win was due in part to a valiant effort from some of the Mustangs youngest players.
The game between conference newcomers lived up to the hype as both teams engaged in a back-and-forth battle that played to a 33-33 tie at the halftime break.
In the second half, the Mustangs came out with a spirited effort that saw them eventually take a 60-53 lead with 3:04 to play after a pair of Manny Washington (Dearborn, Mich./Edsel Ford) free throws.
The freshman forward came up big down the stretch for the Mustangs as he, along with a balanced cast of supporters, held off a late Blue Devil rally that put the game within three points with under 20 seconds to play.
With four seconds remaining, senior guard Cameron Coburn (Bay City, Mich./All Saints) was called to the line one last time to ice the home conference tilt with the game sitting at 60-57 in favor of the Mustangs. Coburn knocked down both to lift the Mustangs to the five-point victory.
Washington poured in a career-high 15 points to go along with eight rebounds to lead the way for the Mustangs. Sophomore frontcourt mate Kevin Dunaj (Warren, Mich./Cousino) dropped in 11 points to accompany his seven boards in the win.
The Mustangs' frontcourt would help propel a 16-6 points in the paint advantage in the second half (28-22 overall) to help seal the victory.
The Mustangs maintained great balance to notch their first win of the season with four more players scoring at least six points on the evening: Coburn 8, Darryl Foster 7, Diante Taylor 7, Jordan Al 6, and Corey Dunaj 6.
Corey Dunaj (Warren, Mich./Cousino), the younger brother of teammate Kevin, perhaps earned the play of the night after crossing up two defenders en route to a nifty left handed layup to give the Mustangs momentum once again.
Zamarre Neely (Detroit, Mich./Summit Academy) was a sparkplug off the bench for the Mustangs. The sophomore guard clocked in at 23 minutes of action.
The Mustangs remain at Ernest T. Ford Field House for another home conference contest Saturday (Dec. 1) at 3 p.m. against Cornerstone University.