WBK: Westmont falls to Master’s in GSAC semis

SANTA CLARITA — Seventh-ranked The Master’s proved to be too much for Westmont Women’s Basketball in the semifinals of the Golden State Athletic Conference Tournament. The Mustangs posted a 73-52 win over the Warriors to advance to Tuesday night’s championship game.

The Mustangs (24-7) will take on No. 17 Hope International (22-9) in the finals after the Royals upset previously undefeated and No. 1-ranked Vanguard (26-1) by a score of 80-76.

“I thought our team played hard tonight,” said Westmont had coach Kirsten Moore. “Master’s was just very good and they deserved that win.”

With the score tied at 14 with 9:32 remaining in the first half, the Mustangs produced a 13-4 run and the Warriors never recovered. At the intermission, The Master’s held a 36-23 lead. After the break, the Mustangs outscored the Warriors 12-3 in the first four minutes to establish a 48-26 advantage. The Warriors got no closer than 18 points the rest of the way.

Celina Gougis led the Warriors in scoring with 11 points, she also had five rebounds. Kelsie Sampson tallied nine points and eight rebounds.

The Master’s was led by Jacquelyn Marshall with 20 points and 18 rebounds. Megan Lindsley added 17 points.

Westmont (20-9) will now turn its attention to preparing for the NAIA National Championship which gets under way on March 19 in Frankfort, Kentucky.

“We have experience at the national level and we have success on that court,” said Moore whose team won the 2013 national championship. “We have a week to keep working at getting better at the things we know wins national tournament games.”

The brackets for the 32-team tournament will be released on March 12.