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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Area College Notebook

February 16, 2001|DAN LOUMENA

The Master's College will need a miracle to qualify for its eighth consecutive NAIA men's basketball tournament.

The Mustangs, 16-11 heading into a game Thursday night against No. 9-ranked Christian Heritage College, gave the selection committee food for thought Saturday night when they took No. 4-ranked College of West Virginia into overtime before losing, 120-117, at Newhall.

But Master's is only the fifth-best California school and is 1-8 against ranked opponents.

The Mustangs have losses to regional rivals Biola (19-5), Azusa Pacific (26-2), Christian Heritage (22-4) and Cal Baptist (20-6).

Their only victory over a ranked team came in early December when they defeated Westminster, Utah (18-6), 79-56.

"We've been right there with all the big teams, but we just haven't been able to beat them," said Don Gilmore, Master's athletic director.

Other losses to ranked opponents were 79-72 at No. 1-ranked Transylvania, Ky. (22-1), 72-67 to Azusa Pacific, 85-83 to Cal Baptist and 78-72 to Biola.

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The Master's women, ranked No. 7 with a 22-2 record and a school-best 20-game winning streak, are assured of qualifying for their second NAIA tournament in three seasons.

The Mustangs have been led by senior guard Erin Buescher and sophomore forward Leslie DuBois and are one of the top teams statistically in the nation.

They are second in team offense with 84.1 points a game, in average margin of victory at 27.6 points and in rebounding margin at 12.6.

They are third in free-throw percentage at 72.9%, fifth in field-goal percentage at 46.6% and sixth in three-point shooting at 36.8%.

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