MBK: Westmont gets Zooked at Biola

LA MIRADA — Biola’s Pierre Zook drilled seven three-point buckets and scored 27 points to power the Eagles past Westmont, 74-66, in the GSAC men’s basketball opener on Tuesday night.

Forward C.J. Miller had a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds
and guard Brendan Hill tallied 16 points for the Warriors (11-4, 0-1 GSAC).

Midway through the first half, Westmont led by a score of 18-17. Then the shots stopped falling. Over the next seven minutes, Biola mounted an 11-2 run, propelling it into halftime with a 29-25 lead.

The Eagles would push their advantage to nine just five minutes into the second period. Nevertheless, the Warriors would not go down easily, summoning a 15-4 run to retake the lead, 44-42, with 11:47 remaining in the contest.

Then Zook began to heat up again for Biola, knocking down four key second-half baskets to swing momentum back in favor of the Eagles.

Westmont, meanwhile, went on a cold streak, finishing with a total shooting percentage of 36.8 (21-of-57, 7-of-22 from three) and a cumulative free throw percentage of 58.6 (17-of-29).

“I thought the key moment of the game was when we took the lead in the middle of the second half,” stated Westmont head coach John Moore. “It looked as though we had the game back in our grasp at that point. However, (Zook) had the game of his life, so to speak. He made some shots that were hard to believe went in.”

Overall, the Warriors would procure more bench points (28 to six), assists (eight to six), steals (seven to three), blocks (three to zero), and turn the ball over fewer times (eight to 11) than the Eagles.

Nonetheless, the superb shooting of Zook and teammate Dakari Archer (16 points) commanded Biola to a 48 percent field goal percentage (24-of-50), including a 50 percent effort (8-of-16) from beyond the arc. Westmont was also outrebounded for the first time on the season, 33 to 36.

“We didn’t get our posts going like we have all season,” commented Moore. “This contributed to a lack of points and fewer rebounds. We didn’t defend the three-point line well either, which was a crucial component of our defeat tonight.”