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College Basketball

Westmont Rides Hot Shooting to Victory Over Rival Biola

Westmont’s Olisa Nwachie drives to the hoop early against Biola. Click to view larger
Westmont’s Olisa Nwachie drives to the hoop early against Biola. (JC Corliss/ Noozhawk Photo)

Seven players scored in double digits and the No. 7 ranked Westmont men's basketball team shot 59 percent from the field in a 93-81 victory over longtime rival No. 3 Biola on Saturday night in Montecito. 

Facing an early 14-25 deficit, the Warriors (15-1, 4-0 Golden State Athletic Conference) went on a 14-3 run to tie the game at 28, and took the lead their first lead of the game with :17 seconds remaining in the first half when Zac Jervis hit an open three-pointer to put Westmont up 37-34. Jervis scored 11 points for Westmont off the bench.

The Warriors never looked back, shooting 68 percent in the second half to cruise to a huge victory.

Biola (15-2, 1-2) turned the ball over 11 times compared to Westmont's six.

Sean McDonnell led the way for the Warriors with 14 points and five rebounds, and Sam Bentz contributed 13 points of his own, including two clutch three-pointers down the stretch. Sean Harman, Gerald Karczewski, Cory Blau, and Hayden Anderson each scored in double figures for Westmont.

"They're a great team," Bentz claimed of Biola. "This was a huge stepping stone for us, but we've still got a lot of work to do."

Biola’s Levi Auble puts up a shot against Westmont. Click to view larger
Biola’s Levi Auble puts up a shot against Westmont. (JC Corliss/ Noozhawk Photo)

Trevor Treinen put up 21 to lead all scorers.

The game represented sweet revenge for Westmont, who lost to Biola three times last season, including in the GSAC semifinals on March 6. Saturday night represents the last time the Warriors will host Biola as conference rivals, as Biola will be moving to NCAA Division-II after this season. Westmont holds the overall edge in the series between the two rivals, 59-52.

"It gives us a lot of confidence," Bentz said of beating the No. 3 team in the NAIA.

The Warriors have won 10 straight, and will look to keep the momentum going on Thursday at William Jessup University in Rockland. Westmont and Biola meet again in La Mirada on Janurary 31. 

— Noozhawk sports reporter Christian Eckert can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports and @noozhawk. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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