Fullerton, CA- In their final tune-up before conference play, Hope International established their new single season high since joining the GSAC with their 15th win. The win came in the form of a 70-46 win over Bethesda on Wednesday. Senior Orlando Collins had 15 points and 8 rebounds. Junior Jeremy Kilgore also scored 15 points.
The Flames (1-14) scored first before Collins knocked a jumper after a pass from Freshman Garrett Neilan to tie the score at 2-2.
A free throw from Sophomore Austin Sanford and jumper from Senior Kris Rosales gave the Royals (15-1) a 5-2 edge.
BUC scored the next four points to take back the lead.
Neilan knocked down a three to briefly move Hope International back on top with a score 8-6. The Flames answered with a 6-2 run to push ahead.
Collins eventually tied the game at 14-14 with 10:51 to play in the first half. On their trip down the floor, Freshman Jimmy Jackson did one better as he buried a three pointer to give HIU the lead for good in the game at the 10:22 mark.
Despite leading from there on, the HIU advantage would not get any bigger than six points in the first half.
At the break, Collins led everyone with 11 points on the strength of 4-5 shooting in the half. Oddly, he had grabbed just one rebound in the first twenty minutes.
When the action resumed, HIU would built the lead up to eight before BUC knocked it back down to four.
With 11:18 showing left in the game, the Flames hit a free throw to get back within five points (41-36). However, the Royals answered with a 12-2 run to pulled away from the Flames who have just six players on their roster.
Jackson scored the final two points of the contest on free throws as HIU built their largest lead of the game.
Behind the 15 points from Collins and Kilgore, Sanford added 14 points. Neilan had 10 points and 8 rebounds. Rosales paced the offense with 7 assists.
Assistant Coach Jon Clasen commented, "We finished our preseason schedule with a good win over a very athletic team. Our man-to-man defense got tested tonight and that will prepare us well for conference."
The season high of 15 wins since 1999-00 (which came in the first 16 games) passes the previous mark of a complete season 14 wins set two seasons ago. The Royals still have some work to do if they want to break the all-time program record of 32 wins set back in the 1988-89 season.
Next up for the Royals is the start of Golden State Athletic Conference play which kicks off with a trip to The Master's College in Santa Clarita. The men and women will play doubleheaders in GSAC games with the men's games scheduled to start at 7:30 pm.