|Grounded By An Eagle Fly-By|
David Cline came off the bench to post a double-double and Biola flew to a 75-61 win over The Master’s College Tuesday evening in Bross Gym. The 18th-ranked Eagles improved to 14-1 overall and 4-1 in the GSAC while the Mustangs, losing for the first time in six starts, dropped to 8-7 and 1-4.
Cline enjoyed a career evening, posting career-highs of 22 points and 12 rebounds. His basket with 14:48 left in the first half put the Eagles ahead to stay. It negated a fast start by the Mustangs who scored the game’s first five points and led 7-2 on Leif Karlberg’s layup at the 17:51 mark.
But, then Cline and his teammates went to work. Up 12-11, the Eagles reeled off nine of the next 11 points, extending the margin to 21-13 with 7:41 left in the first half. A nearly five-minute scoring drought by the Mustangs only contributed to the 9-2 spurt.
Finally finding the range, the Mustangs bounced back with a 7-2 run, closing the deficit to 23-20 on a Leif Karlberg three-pointer with 5:45 showing on the clock. Joey Fuca started things with a pair of free throws and Anthony Cammon added a jumper before Karlberg’s long ball.
Biola responded with a three-pointer and then with Cline sandwiching a pair of jumpers around two Andrew Schroeder free throws, the Eagles lengthened their lead to a half-high 11 points (34-23) before settling for a 34-25 lead at intermission.
Neither team shot well over the opening 20 minutes as the Eagles connected on just 41% of their attempts while the Mustangs hit on 36% of theirs. The primary difference came at the line where the Eagles were 8-8 and the Mustangs just 2-2.
The Eagles came out of the break without missing a beat, lengthening the advantage to 44-31 on a Schroeder three-point with 16:30 left to play. That seemed to catch the Mustangs’ attention and, specifically, Cammons’. In a 3:32 span, the 6-1 junior tallied ten points to single-handedly push the Mustangs back into the game at 48-43 with 12:46 left to play.
The Mustangs stayed within striking distance over the next couple of minutes but couldn’t get closer than that five-point margin. It was a 52-46 game with 9:40 remaining when Biola started to make a move and Cline was the catalyst. His jumper fueled a 10-2 burst and when it was over, the Eagles owned a 62-48 lead with 5:19 left.
Refusing to fall apart, the Mustangs stayed in the game, closing to 64-55 on an Anthony Wells’ three-point play at the 3:39 mark but that would be as close as they would get. Down the stretch, the Eagles maintained a double-digit lead and Cline closed things out with back-to-back, alley-oop dunks.
Both squads made dramatic improvements in their field goal accuracy with the Eagles hitting on 52% (46% for the game) of their shots while the Mustangs converted at a 47% (42% for the game) clip.
Cammon paced the Mustangs with 17 points, Karlberg had 14, and Wells chipped in with 11 more.
After three days off, the Mustangs travel to San Diego on Saturday to face Pt. Loma Nazarene.