DETROIT, Mich.-The Mustangs were able to overcome a sluggish start to beat Purdue University North Central for the second time this season. Unlike last time, the Mustangs were in for a fight and needed every second to overcome a double-digit deficit to win, 75-73. Keontay Glazier tipped home a Chris Sinagoga miss with 1.6 seconds to go to seal the victory.
The Panthers squared off against the Mustangs earlier this month in the Holland Sentinel Tournament at Hope College. The result was a Marcus Hopkins career-high 35 points and an easy Mustang victory. However, the Panthers were ready to pounce this time on a Mustang squad who seemed ready for the holiday break a little early.
A strong Panther attack led by leading scorer Ryan Sisson propelled the visitor’s to a commanding 13-point lead (36-23) with just under five minutes to play in the first half. Sisson’s efforts were backed by strong play by Panther guards who knocked down five 3-pointers in stanza number one.
Mustang’s big man Eric Johnson (Southfield, Mich.) willed the team back to within single digits before the half. His dominating performance down low led to 14 points at the half and a deficit of only eight (41-33).
A whole new team hit the floor after the break behind Johnson’s inspirational play to end the first. The Mustangs cleaned up on the offensive glass (21 off. rebounds) to climb back into the contest basket-by-basket. Sinagoga and Johnson carried the Mustangs to within two possessions with 12:52 to play in the game. The effort was quickly thwarted by two Panther 3-pointers to push the lead back to double-digits.
The fight continued as the Mustangs willed their way back behind a determined effort on the glass. Mike Jackson (Bloomfield, Mich.) snagged five offensive rebounds (four in the 2nd half) and created many second chance opportunities for a Mustang team that needed baskets desperately. Johnson and Sinagoga continued to bring the Mustangs back for one last push with the help of sophomore guard Marcus Hopkins.
Hopkins nailed an “and one” to put the Mustangs in striking distance down three with only minutes to play. The Panthers never let up as they continued to exchange buckets with the Mustangs. Sinagoga came through in the clutch as he nailed five consecutive points for the Mustangs to put them up one, 66-65.
A seesaw battle over the last few minutes would come down to the final 37 seconds of the contest. Tied 73-73, the Mustangs were in control with a full shot clock (35 seconds). The team drained the shot clock and called a timeout with four seconds remaining on the clock. A desperation shit by Sinagoga rattled off the back iron with :02 seconds to play before a Keontay Glazier (Pontiac, Mich.) tip-in with 1.6 seconds to play put the Mustangs up (75-73) in thrilling fashion. The Panthers never got a shot off in the final 1.6 seconds as [Mike] Jackson stole the long inbounds pass to seal the heart stopping victory.
Junior forward Eric Johnson led the Mustangs with 27 points (career high). Johnson added six rebounds and two blocks shots. His performance was followed by another career-high as Bishop Foley’s Chris Sinagoga dropped in 15 points (most as a Mustang). Marcus Hopkins provided instant offense once again with 13 points (5 steals) to round of the double-digit scorers for the Mustangs.
The Mustangs will take time off for the holidays before heading to NAIA rival Madonna University on 01/02/2010 at 12pm. The Crusaders are a competitive team that has owned the series between the two teams.
Category: Men's Basketball