TULSA, Okla. — Its first trip to the National Assn. of Intercollegiate Athletics basketball tournament was short and sour for The Master's College.
Unseeded Georgia Southwestern defeated the 10th-seeded Mustangs, 98-86, in the first round Tuesday at the Mabee Center on the campus of Oral Roberts University.
Dwayne Harper scored 35 points and Eric Taylor 28 for Georgia Southwestern (24-9).
"We tried to put a lot of different people on (Harper) to get fresh legs to guard him," Master's Coach Bill Oates said. "He just dribbled around us, shot over us or just put it in from everywhere."
The Master's (28-5), which trailed by 10 points twice in the first half, cut its deficit to 30-29 with 5:28 to play before halftime. But after guard Andy Thompson was called for a technical foul, the Mustangs never really recovered.
"That really hurt us," Oates said.
Numerous questionable calls affected the Mustangs, center Emeka Okenwa said.
"They called a lot of blocking fouls early and then other things they didn't call," said Okenwa, who scored 27 points. "We didn't know how the officials were going to call the game. You don't want to foul out, so you have to play off of your man. We were out of sync."
James Mosley, who scored 21 points for The Master's, said the Mustangs simply played a bad game.
"Sometimes that happens," he said. "We weren't tired from traveling, but maybe the arena and the setting had something to do with it."
Even when The Master's closed to within three points in the second half, Georgia Southwestern retained control.
"Every time we got close, they would give the ball to (Harper), and he was on his game," Thompson said.
Harper said he was surprised that he was not trapped and double-teamed more often.
"They were leaving me one-on-one too much," he said. "As a good offensive player, I felt that was to my advantage."
Azusa Pacific (28-4), seeded 11th, will play unseeded Transylvania (25-7) of Kentucky and unseeded Westmont (18-12) will play third-seeded Salem Teikyo (24-3) of West Virginia in first-round games today.
Georgia Southwestern will play the winner of today's game between Mobile (Ala.) and Midwestern State of Texas in the second round Thursday.