December 9, 2011

Biola Holds Off Sagehens For 69-65 Win

La Mirada, Calif. – Zack Zaragoza had 14 points, including two key three-pointers late in the game, as the Biola Men's Basketball team fought off numerous second half challenges from Pomona-Pitzer for a 69-65 win on Thursday evening in a non-conference game at Chase Gymnasium.

Pomona-Pitzer falls to 4-3 on the year with the loss, as freshman guard Kyle McAndrews (Seattle, Wash.) led the Sagehens for the second straight game with 18 points, while freshman forward Jack Klukas (Eden Prairie, Minn. - pictured) added 14 on 4-5 shooting from the floor. Biola, ranked No. 15 in NAIA Division I, sees its record improve to 7-2 with the victory.

Klukas helped keep the Sagehens within 35-30 at the half by shooting 4-4 from three in the opening half. Biola used a 10-0 run to take a 21-15 lead, but sophomore guard Harrison Green and Klukas tied the score with three-pointers on back-to-back possessions.

After the Sagehens went back ahead 24-23, Biola went on a 12-0 run to take a seemingly commanding 35-24 lead, but once again Klukas knocked down a three-pointer to stop the run, and then buried another with five seconds left in the opening stanza to make the score 35-30.

In the second half, the Sagehens kept getting the Biola lead down to a single possession, but couldn't get the key stops they needed to get the chance to tie. Two foul shots from graduate student R.J. Maki (Claremont, Calif.) had Pomona-Pitzer within 50-49, but two straight Biola lay-ups pushed the lead to 54-49.

After a three-pointer from John Weiss (Cleveland, Ohio) got Pomona-Pitzer within 54-52, Andre Murillo scored a key second-chance lay-up for Biola. A Greg Wright (Oakland, Calif.) tip-in made the score 56-54, but Andre Lee answered with a three-pointer with 3:34 left, and after a Pomona-Pitzer turnover, Zack Zaragoza hit another three-pointer to put the Eagles up 62-54.

McAndrews stopped the bleeding for the Sagehens with an old-fashioned three-point play to make the score 62-57, but Zaragoza nailed another three-pointer with the shot clock winding down and 1:39 left on the game clock to effectively seal the win.

Pomona-Pitzer tried to creep back in it, as back-to-back lay-ups from Weiss made the score 65-61, and Biola followed by missing the front end of a one-and-one, but McAndrews had a lay-up that would have made the score 65-63 negated on a charging call with 20 seconds left and Zaragoza knocked down two clinching foul shots.

The loss spoiled a terrific shooting day from the perimeter for the Sagehens, who were 10-14 from three-point territory in defeat. Biola also hit 10 shots from beyond the arc (10-20), led by five from guard Chase Adams and four from Zaragoza.

Pomona-Pitzer will be back in action when it hosts American Sports University on Friday, Dec. 16.