LA MIRADA, Calif. --- It was a wild game with plenty of turnovers, an abnormal amount of blocks and a very tense ending, but it all added up to the Eagles' third consecutive win.
Biola and Bethesda met on a chilly Friday night in a rematch of their rivalry that took place at the end of November. Bethesda won the last meeting by just two points, and the Eagles paid them back tonight, getting a 71-69 win.
Chelsea Hill was the key to the Eagles' attack all night long, serving as the main distributor, getting a season-high nine assists while also netting 12 points. She ran a Biola offense that was effective enough all night long to continually chip away, and eventually surpass, a big Flames lead.
Bethesda built their lead in the early minutes of the game, cruising to a comfortable eight-point lead after a 10-0 run to start the first half. Key to this run was their guard, Art Kubacova, who made two layups, a free-throw and one of her three three-pointers of the night to help build the lead.
From that point forward it was all about the Eagles playing pressure defense and chipping away at the deficit until the whole game changed late in the second half.
It took 12 minutes off the clock, and left the game with just four minutes remaining, but a huge 26-9 run by the Eagles late handed them a nine-point advantage that seemed insurmountable that late in the game.
The Flames saw that they were about to be extinguished and put together a run of their own to make the game excruciatingly close in the final minute. They were able to get some late production out of their big post player, Emilie Munnandibu, who was out for a lot of the game with foul trouble. Her 12 points on 5-8 shooting helped her get Bethesda in a tie game with 26 seconds to play.
After a timeout the Eagles had possesstion with just a few seconds left to play when Hill attempted a three-pointer that was no good. Adijat Adams snagged the rebound and got the ball back out to Hill, who stepped in front of the line and took another shot with just five to play.
That is when the game-changing play occurred. Naomi Monroe, who ended up with just three points in 22 minutes played, committed a personal foul on Hill as she shot.
Hill sunk both free throws and the Eagles escaped with the win after two failed last-second attempts by the Flames.
Khadidja Diakite and Adams led the Eagles with 17 an 16 points, respectively. Diakite had one of her most efficient performances of the season, shooting 6-12 from the field and picking up nine rebounds.
The win improves Biola to 3-10 and drops Bethesda to 7-14. Biola resumes play Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. in a showdown with Viterbo University, a team who lost by 37-points to Vanguard in the early game on Friday.
They follow that meeting with two more preseason road contests, then will jump into conference play Jan. 14.