Game Report… GO Kayla….

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Box Score
Hope International reeled off a jaw-dropping 28-4 run midway through the second half and then held on to upset The Master’s College 61-56 before a stunned crowd in Bross Gym Saturday evening. The win is the Royals’ season-high fourth in a row.In the first 1:19 of play, it appeared that the 24th-ranked Mustangs were going to run away and hide as they tallied the game’s first six points. Jumpers by Stacy Nanninga and Lisa Chenoweth sandwiched around a pair of Annie Gillespie free throws put the Mustangs ahead 6-0. But Hope roared back to tie the score at seven before a Kayla Rutherford layup gave the Royals their first lead of the game at 9-8 with 12:10 left in the opening half. That set up a see-saw effect on the scoreboard over the next seven-plus minutes, featuring a pair of ties and four lead changes. Hope gained its largest lead of the half (16-12) on a Jasmine Nault jumper with 6:24 left but the Mustangs answered back with a 9-0 blitz, ignited by a Chenoweth three-point play and capped by a Kinsley Mittel free throw at the 3:29 mark to race ahead 21-16. A Mittel layup with 2:06 left made it a 23-18 game and her free throw with 24 seconds remaining put the Mustangs ahead 26-20 before Hope’s Allison Wulff cut the deficit to four at halftime with a late jumper. Just as they did in the first half, the Mustangs dominated the opening minutes of the second stanza and threatened to blow the game wide open. A 7-0 spurt, fueled by a Stacy Nanninga layup and finished off by a Gillespie trifecta, moved the Mustangs to a 33-22 lead with 16:46 left to play and just over two minutes later, back-to-back layups by Mittel and Gillespie extended the advantage to 39-26. But Hope didn’t fade. In fact, they exploded, using a trio of three-balls over the next three minutes to trigger the monster run that helped them blow by the Mustangs. In addition, a pair of threes by Malerie Rodrigues and Rutherford pushed the margin to 52-43 before Nault capped the assault with a jumper for an 11-point cushion with 5:20 left to play. The Royals needed almost the entirety of that padding, though, because the Mustangs finally awoke from their nine-minute slumber (four points) and decided to do something about their plight. Gillespie, single-handedly, got the squad going, scoring six consecutive points as part of an 11-2 burst that drew the Mustangs to within 56-54 with 1:33 left. Rodrigues and Gillespie traded a pair of free throws each but a Mustang turnover and a Wulff jumper off her offensive rebound made it a four-point (60-56) game with under a minute to go. That was enough as the Mustangs failed to score the rest of the way while Rutherford made the win sure with a free throw with five seconds left. Rutherford and Roderigues poured in 13 points apiece for the Royals, while Nault added 12 points and seven rebounds. Point guard Stephanie Wenke dished out a game-high 10 assists.



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