Biola Late Three Lifts Eagles Over Spartans

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December 18, 2012, LA MIRADA, California – Biola University’s Zack Zaragoza drained a deep three-pointer with 22 seconds left to give Biola a one-point lead and David Cline hit four free throws down the stretch as the Eagles held on for a 61-56 over the Trinity Western University Spartans Monday night at Chase Gymnasium in La Mirada, Calf.

The Spartans start their four-game swing through California with a loss to fall to 5-12. Biola improves to 8-4 on the season, snapping a two-game losing streak and heading into the Christmas Break with a victory.

Cline and Zaragoza provided the bulk of the offense for the Eagles on the night, each recording a double-double. Cline scored 18 points and added 14 rebounds while Zaragoza scored 11 points and had 11 rebounds.

Biola had a tough time with the Trinity Western team which traveled down from British Columbia earlier in the day. Despite the travel, the Spartans looked solid, led by leading scorer Mark Perrin, who had a game-high 22 points and added an impressive first-half dunk, while Denny McDonald added a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

The Eagles opened the game with six quick points but fell behind just as quickly as the Spartans answered by using a 13-4 run to take a three-point lead. Biola’s defense held Trinity Western without a bucket over the next three minutes allowing the Eagles to go back on top at 18-13 with 10:43 to go in the half.

After the Spartans pulled back to within one, Biola rolled off an 11-2 run to take its largest lead of the game at 29-19 with 5:17 left. The Eagles capped the half with a big dunk by David Cline with minute left and took a 32-25 lead to the half.

In the second half, Biola was able to extend the lead back up to eight at 38-30 with 15:06 left, but saw the lead fall back down to one at 42-41 with 10:11 remaining. The game went back and forth from there with BIola seeming to pull away with four minutes left as Zaragoza was fouled on a three-point attempt and hit all three free-throws. The three-point play made it 54-47 with 4:25 to go.

But the Spartans were not done as four Biola turnovers allowed Trinity Western to tie the game at 54-54 with 1:07 to play. The Eagles missed on their next possession leading to a fast break layup by Mark Perrin, giving the Spartans the late 56-54 lead with 38 seconds left. Biola came back down, though and Zaragoza quickly gave the Eagles the lead back with a three-pointer from the top of the key.

After a great defensive stop on the other end, Cline controlled the rebound with five seconds left and was fouled. With it just being the seventh team foul, the senior came up huge, converting the one-and-one to make it a three-point game. Biola intercepted the long in-bounds pass and Cline converted two more free throws with one second left to ice it.

Biola hit just two of 16 three-pointers in the game, though both came in the final six minutes including the game-winner.

The Spartans will continue their California tour tomorrow at Cal State San Marcos. Game time against the Cougars in San Marcos, Calf. Is set for 5 p.m. PST. Live stats are available from CSSM.

The Eagles return to action after the break with a game against another Canadian school, hosting the University of Victoria on Saturday, Dec. 29 at 3:30 p.m.

Game Notes: “Trinity Western University was one of the tougher more athletic teams that the Eagles have faced this year,” commented Biola play-by-play commentator Mike Teague after the contest…Biola had a 11-point advantage from the foul line (15-18) to (4-8)…the Spartans had 13 steals to the Eagles’ eight… Biola finished with a 40 to 37 rebounding edge…

Christian J. Stewart
Christian is a professional photographer and media professional based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Currently working as the Assistant General Manager for Victoria HarbourCats Baseball Club, a Senior Contributing Editor and photographer at Independent Sports News (ISN) and operating his own freelance photography and media/pr company.