Master’s Can’t Take Care of No. 1 Belmont : NAIA tournament: Mustangs trail by only one point at halftime but are routed in the second half, 91-72.


Top-seeded Belmont University broke open a close game with two second-half spurts to sack The Master’s, 91-72, Friday night at the Mabee Center in the quarterfinals of the NAIA Division I men’s basketball tournament.

Kerry West fired in six three-point baskets and had 27 points to propel the Rebels, from Nashville, Tenn., into the semifinals of the 32-team tournament.

DaQuinn Goff scored 21 points and Al Allen added 16 for Belmont (37-1), which will play Birmingham Southern tonight in the semifinals.


Birmingham Southern (33-2), which has won 30 consecutive games, reached the semifinals by trouncing Georgia Southwest, 109-76.

The final will be televised nationally by ESPN on Monday night.

Master’s (31-5), which had won 18 consecutive games, was within 41-40 at halftime.

However, the Mustangs, who broke open their first two games in the tournament with deadly shooting to start the second half, were no match for the Rebels in the final 20 minutes. Master’s made just 35.7% of its shots after intermission.

High-scoring guards Doug Leaman and Mike Penberthy each managed only eight points for the Mustangs. Penberthy and Leaman, who made 20 of 35 shots from three-point range in the first two games, sank four of 15.

Penberthy, Master’s scoring leader, scored 46 points in the Mustangs’ victories in the first two rounds of the tournament.

Matt Kordik led Master’s in scoring with 16 points. Leo Gorauskas and James Mosley each added 15.

Belmont had a 9-3 spurt to begin the second half and then put together a 12-2 run at the nine-minute mark.


That last surge gave the Rebels a 72-59 lead and the Mustangs couldn’t make a run the rest of the way.

“This was a game of spurts,” said Bill Oates, Master’s coach. “We were not able to come back after their two spurts the second half.

“We knew we had to play very well the second half. We obviously didn’t function as well the second half. We started turning the ball over and didn’t shoot well the second half.

“We are encouraged that we have a very young team. Four of our five starters are underclassmen. We felt this would be a rebuilding year and we are real encouraged.”