LA MIRADA, Calif. --- Senior guard Becca DeVere made just two field goals in the game, but both came with less than 35 seconds left with the second coming on a layup with five seconds left to lift Biola to a 63-61 win over Hope International University in a GSAC Tournament First Round game on Monday night at Chase Gymnasium.
The Eagles, the No. 6 seed in the GSAC tournament, improve to 15-16 on the season and advance to face No. 3 seed The Master's College in the GSAC Quarterfinals on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. The Royals, the No. 7 seed, drop to 12-18.
DeVere hit a deep three-pointer with 32 seconds left to give Biola a two-point lead, then after Hope re-tied the game with a pair of free throws with nine seconds left, hit a fast-break layup to put the Eagles back up for good with five seconds left.
Things were interesting after that as it looked like DeVere iced the game with a clean steal, but was called for a foul with 1.9 seconds to go. But Hope's Shawna Staves missed both free throws and Biola secured the rebound and ran out the clock to hold on to the win.
DeVere finished with nine points, eight rebounds and six assists in 37 minutes while sophomore forward Chelsea Hill had a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Junior Adijat Adams added 13 points, nine rebounds and three steals before fouling out late in the contest.
Biola had to overcome Hope's solid outside shooting as the Royals connected on 10 three-pointers in the game accounting for just under half of the team's 61 points.
As has been the case between the two teams, the game was another close one, featuring six ties and 11 lead changes throughout.
Hope International got off to a fast start, scoring he first seven points of the game before a pair of free throws by Adams two minutes in got the Eagles on the board. Those points ignited the Biola offense and the Eagles outscored the Royals 21-9 over the next 10 minutes to go up by five at 21-16 with 8:21 to go in the half.
Hope answered back three minutes later with a 7-0 run bookended by three-pointers to go back up by three at 28-25. Hope hit a layup with 37 seconds left to take back a one-point lead, but freshman Abby Chapman drained a straight-away three with 21 seconds remaining as Biola took a 34-32 lead to the half.
Biola stayed strong through the first five minutes of the second half, maintaining its lead and going up by four on a layup by Elizabeth Munger with 15:50 to play. But the Royals responded with a 13-3 run over the next five minutes--including three three-pointers--to take their largest lead of the second half at 49-43 with 10:45 left.
The Eagles continued to battle and tied the game at 54-54 on a pair of free throws by DeVere with 4:40 to go. After a defensive stand, Biola missed a wide open jumper on one end, then gave up a three-pointer to Andrina Rendon on the other end as Hope went back up 57-54 with 3:34 on the clock.
Down one at 59-58 with 1:44 to go, Biola got a big turnover as Chapman got a steal at the top of the key and raced down the other way. But she missed the contested layup and Hill's followed rattled out with Hope securing the rebound. The Royals would run down the clock and attempted a three with 58 seconds left, but it rattled off and Biola got the rebound.
With 39 seconds on the clock Chapman took a three-pointer and it missed but DeVere hustled and got the rebound well beyond the three-point arc. To everyone's surprise she took one dribble in and launched a three-pointer from NBA range, hitting nothing but the bottom of the net to put Biola back on top by two with 32 seconds to go.
Hope came down to the other end and Rendon's shot with 11 seconds left was blocked by Hill. But Rendon was able to get the rebound and was fouled from behind, giving her two free throws which she calmly drained to tie the game.
DeVere then took the inbounds pass and quickly pushed the ball up the court, knifing through the Royals' defense and laying the ball in easily with five seconds to go.
Hope quickly inbounded and tried a similar play, but Hill knocked the ball away from Rendon and it rolled out of bounds under the Hope basket with three seconds left.
After a timeout, the inbound pass went underneath to Shawna Staves, who had it knocked away by DeVere for what should have been a game-ending steal. But a whistle came in from an official who called a foul on DeVere and put Staves on the free throw line.
Staves missed the first free throw line, then intentionally missed the second to try for a last-second bucket to tie. But Chapman blocked out Staves well and secured the rebound as time ran out.
Chapman, who played 30 minutes off the bench, finished with seven points, three assists, two steals and four rebounds. Fellow freshman Aubree Mittel added eights while Elizabeth Munger scored six off the bench.
Biola held a solid 40-26 edge in rebounding and made 15-of-18 shots from the free throw line in the game.
Brittany Bauman led the Royals with 18 points while Rendon added 16 points and eight rebounds. Rendon had combined for 49 points and 24 rebounds in her previous two games against Biola this season.
The Eagles now advance to face No. 3 The Master's College in Santa Clarita on Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. Biola pulled off a huge upset the last time these teams played at The Master's, winning 60-50 in overtime.
Concordia beat Arizona Christian 84-62 in the other first-round game and advances to face No. 4 San Diego Christian on Wednesday night. The top two seeds--No. 1 Westmont and No. 2 Vanguard--have byes through to the semifinals which they host on Friday.