SANTA CLARITA, Calif. --- Biola led from start to finish en route to earning a huge road win, defeating The Master's College 54-53 in a GSAC contest on Saturday night at Bross Gym in Santa Clarita.
The Eagles improve to 14-12 with their second-straight win and move to 4-6 in conference play while dropping the Mustangs to 14-11 and to 3-7 in the GSAC.
Biola had four players in double-figures, with three scoring 11 points. Cody Wittick kept Biola in the game with all of his 11 points coming in the first half while David Cline and Jeremy Pope each finished with 11 points as well. Mike Kurtz added 10 points and nine rebounds.
The game was close throughout with the Eagles pulling away and The Master's reeling them back in. Despite never leading in the game, the Mustangs were within a bucket of the lead on a number of occasions.
Biola opened the game strong, quieting the capacity crowd of 1,500 early on with a 10-2 run to start the game. The Master's answered back quickly and eventually tied the game at 12-12. But the Eagles scored eight-straight capped by a three-pointer from Kyle Bailey to make it 20-12 with 8:51 left in the period.
The Mustangs would close the gap back to one with a three-pointer by Devin Dyer with 43 second left, but Bailey hit a jumper with eight seconds left in the half to give Biola a 29-26 lead at the half.
Biola opened the second half with a lead and maintained it until late when the Mustangs used a 6-0 run over a five minute stretch to tie the game at 47-47 with 2:00 minutes left. The Master's had a chance to take the lead on that possession as Jason Logan was fouled and hit the bucket. But his free throw was missed and the score remained tied.
After misses by either team, Pope came up huge for the Eagles, hitting a floater in the lane as the shot clock expired to give Biola a 49-47 lead with 48 seconds left. After a timeout, Pope then picked the pocket of Leif Karlberg and was fouled with 32 seconds left. Pope hit both free throws and extended the lead back to four with 30 seconds to go.
Biola committed a foul on the other end with 17.1 seconds left, but made just one of two free throws and David Cline hit both on the other end to make it a three-point game.
The Master's scored quickly on the other end and fouled again with Pope hitting one of two free throws to make it 54-50. Derrick Fain hit a three-pointer right in front of The Master's bench as time expired, flopping to the ground trying to fool the refs into giving him a chance to tie with a free throw, but the officials were having none of it and the game ended at 54-53.
Both teams shot well with The Master's staying in the game thanks to nine three-pointers. The Eagles hit six, but just one in the second half, shooting 37.5 percent overall in the game. The Mustangs connected on 36.4 percent from the field.
The win gives Biola a bit of revenge after losing 67-59 to the Mustangs in a similar game in La Mirada. The Master's led a close game from start to finish and pulled away to win back on January 19.
The win moves Biola into a tie with Vanguard for fifth place in the GSAC standings at 4-6, one behind Concordia at 5-5 and one ahead of both The Master's and San Diego Christian at 3-7.