LA MIRADA, Calif. -- Biola got off to a fantastic start to conference play with a gritty 74-66 win over Westmont on Tuesday night.
The Eagles relied on solid team play and some fantastic shooting by Pierre Zook to down the Warriors.
"The guys played really hard, they rebounded well and had a few defensive breakdowns against this very good team," said Dr. Dave Holmquist. "They had a lot of energy and this was a great team win for us as everyone was working hard to do the little things well."
The win was Biola's first victory over Westmont since Nov. 30, 2010 and it helped them improve to 11-6, 1-0 GSAC on the season.
Zook was the star of the showdown, draining 7-9 three-point shots on his way to a 27-point performance. He was accurate from all over the court, shooting 9-13 from the field and 2-3 from the line.
His 27-point performance gives the Eagles back-to-back 27-point games, as they got one out of Andre Murillo last time out. Dakari Archer and Mike Kurtz also scored double-digits with 16 and 10, respectively.
"Pierre really shot the ball well tonight, going 7-9 and making a great late three-point play off a hook shot in the key," said Holmquist.
Biola's big performances came from its starters, who combined for 68 of the Eagles' 74 points. Westmont, on the other hand, got great numbers from their bench with 28 bench points.
This was caused by the Warriors inability to stop fouling, they had six players with at least three personal fouls.
Christopher Miller led Westmont with his 19 point and 10 rebound performance. He was the only player to get a double-double on Tuesday night.
Biola built an early six-point lead in the first half, but gave it up after WC made a 7-1 run to tie the game up. The two teams battled it out throughout the first 20 minutes until the Eagles eventually went into the half leading by four.
A tip-in by Kurtz off a missed layup from Zook gave the Eagles a nine-point lead five minutes into the second frame, until Brendan Hill and Miller combined for 10 points in three minutes to give Westmont a two-point edge.
Zook and Murillo caught fire after that run and helped the Eagles build what seemed to be an insurmountable 14-point lead with 1:30 left on the clock.
The Warriors were able to close the gap to as close as eight, but Biola made most of its last-minute free throws to keep the lead and get the win.
"It is great to win the first conference game, especially against such a good, well-coached team. I am glad we got this one, especially at home," said Holmquist.
Westmont drops to 11-4, 0-1 GSAC after the loss.
Biola plays their next game on the road against Vanguard on Saturday night.