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MACU men falter to Wilson in second half

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MACU men's basketball coach Allan Harris works with his team during a timeout in Saturday's game against Warren Wilson. The Mustangs lost 89-71.

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Owen Hassell
Sports Editor

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Lowering margins of defeat against the same opponents from a year ago is one goal the Mid-Atlantic Christian men’s basketball team has achieved.

Coach Allan Harris knows that means the next step is winning.

“This team blew us out bad last year and busted the clock,” said Harris after the Mustangs’ 89-71 loss to Warren Wilson on Saturday. “For us to play competitive with them in the first half and into the second half with a team that’s beaten us by 40, we look at it and build on it.”

MACU (2-6, 2-1 United States Collegiate Athletic Association) did take on its toughest league foe so far in a Wilson group that’s ninth in the latest USCAA Division II poll. The Mustangs, on the other hand, did earn votes for the top 20 list.

The opening 20 minutes were a good sign for MACU, who held a 21-9 advantage thanks to some 3-point makes. Wilson was able to recover with some outside shooting of its own to go into the break up 37-36.

Where the Mustangs lost their edge came in breaking the press, which led to numerous layups and more chances from the 3-point line. At one point, Harris was forced to call timeout after his squad had three-straight turnovers that all led to easy points and a 74-60 deficit.

“We knew they could light it up from the outside,” said Harris of Wilson, who connected on 15 trifectas at Chesson Gym on Saturday. “It was a matter of getting to those shooters, but when they spread it out, you’ve got to go pick them up.”

Markel Ming, who had three 3-pointers in the first half, was MACU’s leading scorer with 17 points.

With a host of young players, Harris is optimistic chemistry will come, especially against future USCAA opponents.

“It’s just those freshman mistakes and guys still trying to learn,” Harris said.

The Mustangs are back home Thursday to face a NCAA Division III team in North Carolina Wesleyan.

MACU WOMEN

The Lady Mustangs were all smiles before Friday’s win against Trinity Washington after the program’s first-ever spot in the USCAA Division II poll.

MACU (5-4, 4-0 USCAA) is ranked No. 15 among the association’s 20 best and ensured it would at least stay there after the squad’s third victory in its last four outings.

Coach Charlie Troxell, however, did not inform his group of the ranking until after the win.

“It’s obviously the first ranking we’ve ever had, but we’re not satisfied,” Troxell said. “But we were more excited after our fifth win.”

In Friday’s 69-42 victory, Aleah McNeal and Eryka Vincent each had 16 points while Tierra Lester added 14. Montana Moore put in 12 points and hauled down 13 rebounds.

McNeal ranked fifth in the USCAA in scoring at 19 points a contest.

An out-of-league game awaits next against a stiff opponent in NCAA Division III’s Greensboro College this Friday before finishing 2016 with a trio of USCAA matchups. All four are on the road.

ECSU MEN

Washington Adventist 76, ECSU 53: The Vikings took their second loss to the Shock this season with the setback in Maryland on Saturday night.

ECSU (1-6) was led in scoring by two players off the bench: Jordan Jones (16 points) and John Maynor (eight).

The Vikings had already taken a 70-59 defeat to Adventist (9-0) last month during a two-day event in Richmond, Virginia.

On Tuesday, ECSU travels to Barton.

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