AZUSA, Calif. --- Quick, powerful and incredibly precise is the perfect way to describe Biola's well-oiled offense and ring-leader Mike Kurtz after Saturday night's upset win over NCAA and former GSAC opponent, Azusa Pacific.
Biola controlled the game throughout, leading by as much as 18, en route to a 83-78 win that pushes them to an even 3-3 on the season and drops Azusa Pacific to 1-2.
The Eagles came out and made a statement early in a treacherous road environment by scoring 10 straight points over a three-minute span less than 10 minutes following the opening tip. The run put Biola into the driver's seat as they gained a 20-11 advantage they'd never surrender.
After Azusa Pacific's stud Troy Leaf made a jumper to put the Cougars on top by one early, Kurtz stepped back and made a midrange jumper, one of over 10 field goals he made in the game, to start the run.
The big man followed his shot with a steal and a quick dish to standout guard Dakari Archer to get the ball rolling in Biola's favor. Two more quick layups by Kurtz and a nice junper in the paint by Andre Murillo had the Eagles ready to soar eight minutes in.
Strong shooting, especially from up close, helped the Eagles extend their lead to 13 by halftime, stunning the crowd of over 2,300 people at Felix Event Center and knocking the sure-handed Cougars off their gameplan.
Pierre Zook, Biola's leading scorer with 25 points, came out on fire to start the second half, draining a three-pointer, one of three in the game, and sinking two free throws to help Biola to its largest lead of the game at 49-31.
The junior guard was money all night long, going 12-12 from the charity stripe and 5-9 from the field. He added two assists and two rebounds as he continued to flourish into one of Biola's primary offensive threats.
Biola's 63 percent mark from the field helped carry them to the win, despite a late push from the resurgent Cougar's bunch. The Eagles gave up some tough late fouls, including a three shot penalty that resulted in three late points for Azusa Pacific's leading scorer, Leaf.
Leaf ended the game with 27 points, narrowly outdueling Zook, and Azusa Pacific's big man Tyler Monroe finished with 21 to edge out Kurtz's 20. It was Biola's slight edge in second chance points and rebounds that helped them to the five-point win despite the late charge by the inconsistent Cougars.
Azusa Pacific shot nearly 20 percent less from the field than the Eagles, and managed three fewer second chance points, despite grabbing seven more offensive boards.
The Eagles have a quick minute to enjoy their latest victory, their second straight, before they turn their minds to the upcoming contest at La Sierra on Tuesday night.