SANTA CLARITA, Calif. - Freshman Abby Chapman scored a career-high 21 points and Biola (Calif.) was a perfect 13-of-13 from the free throw line as the Eagles upset No. 11 The Master's College (Calif.) 56-51 in a GSAC Quarterfinal match on Wednesday night at Bross Gymnasium in Santa Clarita.
It was the second-straight upset win for the Eagles (16-16) at The Master's College (25-6) after winning 60-50 in overtime when the teams faced off three weeks ago. It was also Biola's second-straight win and fourth-straight road win. Biola advances to the GSAC Semifinals to face No. 7-ranked Vanguard University-- the tournament's No. 2 seed--on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Chapman's 21 points were 12 more than her previous best this season and came mostly from three-point range. The freshman hit five three-pointers on the night, matching her total through 24 previous games this season.
Adijat Adams added a 13-point, 13-rebound double-double while Chelsea Hill added 10 points. Senior guard Becca DeVere contributed eight points, 11 rebounds and six assists.
Biola trailed by five with 8:11 to go, but used a 12-1 run over the next five minutes to take a 50-44 with 3:46 to go. The Master's eventually cut the lead to one at 50-49 on a bucket with 1:22 remaining, but the Eagles converted all six free throw attempts down the stretch and played solid defense to pull out the win.
"This game really was a battle of wills and intensity and both teams battled up to the end," said Biola Head Coach Dr. Bethany Miller. "The Master's is an excellent program, well coached and they came ready to play. But we came into the gym ready to play and played with a lot of intensity and focus and executed our game plan well."
Biola got off to a great starting in the game, scoring 16 points through the first six minutes of the game on 6-of-10 shooting and taking an early 16-10 lead. However, the Eagles went quiet over the next nine minutes, going 15-straight possessions with a bucket including nine turnovers. Amazingly, Biola still held the lead when Hill snapped the drought with a bucket with 4:56 to go in the period.
The Master's Jacquelyn Marshall converted a three-point play on the ensuing possession and tied the game at 18-18. Biola answered rich track with a bucket from Adams then another three-pointer from Chapman to take a five-point lead.
The Mustangs responded with baskets on four of their next five possessions, using an 8-0 run to take their first lead of the night and go up 26-23 with 1:33 on the clock.
Chapman ended the run with a mid-range jumper and--after a free throw by The Masters--DeVere tied it up with a driving layup with 34 seconds left and the teams headed to the half tied at 27-27.
The Master's opened the second half on a 13-4 run and took what appeared to be to be an insurmountable nine-point lead at 40-31 with 10:18 left. But the run came to an as Adams pulled down an offensive rebound and put it back up and in, getting fouled in the process. She hit the free throw to cut the lead to six.
Seconds later, DeVere stole a downcourt pass and took it straight to the basket for the layup and just like that Biola was within four with 9:49 to go. Just one minute later, Chapman hit her fourth three-pointer to pull the Eagles to within two and two free throws by Adams tied the game at 43-43 with 6:50 to go.
After a missed three by the Mustangs, DeVere pulled down the rebound and was fouled. She hit both free throws to give Biola the lead back for good. Still leading by three with 3:46 left, Chapman capped her incredible night by hitting her fifth three-pointer to put the Eagles up by six. While the game got close in the final minute, Biola was able to hit free throws to preserve the victory.
Biola wound up outscoring The Master's 25-11 over the final 10:18 left to pull out the upset.
The Eagles' defense was impressive against the high-scoring Mustangs, who average nearly 75 points per game. Biola held The Master's to just 29.7 percent shooting including 22.9 percent in the second half. The Mustangs also rank second in the conference in three-point shooting, but hit just 2-of-20 from three-point range in the game.
Biola's 13-for-13 night from the free throw line was the best in the program since the Eagles connected on 16-of-16 in a win at Fresno Pacific University during the 2006-07 season.
Biola advances to the GSAC Semifinals to face No. 2 seed Vanguard (21-3). The Eagles have played well against Lions this season, but have yet to beat them. In the team's first meeting in La Mirada, Biola lead through much of the game only to see Vanguard come from behind in the final minutes to pull out the 65-56 win. At the beginning of February, the Eagles led early, but the Lions pulled away and led by double-digits in the second half, winning 72-61.
In the other GSAC Quarterfinal, No. 4 seed San Diego Christian defeated No. 5 Concordia 84-74. The Hawks face No. 1 Westmont in Santa Barbara in the other GSAC Semifinal on Friday night.