Fullerton, CA- Unlike two weeks ago when Biola produced a second half surge that Hope International could not stop, on Wednesday, the Royals answered and pulled away for a 77-65 win. Senior Andrina Rendon scorched the nets for 32 points while pulling down 10 rebounds. Junior Brittany Bauman added 15 points.
Bauman broke the scoring ice by connecting on the first shot taken in the game to give the fourth seeded Royals (21-9) their first lead of the game.
But the fifth seeded Eagles (12-19) gave HIU a strong dose of Adijat Adams and Aubree Mittel as the BU duo combined to score the first 11 points for Biola and twice build a five point lead.
HIU countered with a 6-0 run to briefly move back in front.
The Eagles put together an 11-2 run to build a 22-14 lead. Interestingly enough, neither Adams nor Mittel scored a single point in that run.
In just over a three minute span, Junior Krystyn Jacobs led an 8-0 charge to tie the game at 22-22. Jacobs had four points and two rebounds during that stretch. Rendon added on to the run with a pair of three pointers to push HIU in front for the remainder of the half.
At the break, Rendon concluded an impressive first half with 23 points on 7-8 shooting from the field and 6-6 from the free throw line. Adams topped Biola with 10 points on 5-8 shooting.
The second half saw HIU extending their lead to 14 points (52-38) thanks to five points from Bauman including a three pointer and four points from Rendon.
Just like two weeks ago, the Eagles were not fazed as they immediately responded with a 14-0 run to knot the score at 52-52 and would eventually take the lead at 54-53 with 9:46 to play.
However, unlike two weeks ago, Sophomore Alexis Perry converted a twisting layup while being fouled and tacked on the ensuing free throw to move HIU back to the top side of the scoreboard.
As it turned, the Royals had their way in the final 10 minutes outscoring Biola 22-11 to lead the rest of the game.
Rendon finished the night with her 32 points thanks in large part to her perfect 13-13 shooting from the free throw line. Along with Rendon and Bauman, Perry (12 points) and Sophomore Marissa Rendon (10) also reached double figures for the Royals. Biola finished with three in double figures- Mittel (18), Adams (14), and Elizabeth Munger (11).
When the dust cleared two numbers stood out- 21 and 10. The 21 accounts for the now HIU wins on the season which ties the all time HIU single season high set back in 1988-89. The number 10 represents the number of rebounds for A. Rendon had in the game. With her 10 rebounds, A. Rendon ties the single season rebound mark at 309 which she now shares with HIU's all time leading scorer and rebounder Jasmine Nault who set the single season record in 2007-08.
Head Coach Bill Crammer stated, "We are proud of the girls in their efforts tonight as we played in the first round of the GSAC Playoffs. Defensively, we were able to clamp down on Adams in the second half (only four points after the break). We rebounded the best we have against them all season. We look forward to the opportunity to play Vanguard again and hopefully we will finish two points better than we did last time. A big thanks to our fans- you mean the world to us."
When thinking about the two tied records, Crammer added, "The win tonight put a stamp of approval on the season as it tied the school record for wins in a season. Rendon tying the single season rebound record with her 10 boards is also a good accomplishment."
For the Royals, they will now face top seeded Vanguard in the GSAC Semi-Finals at The Pit in Costa Mesa on Friday at 7:30 pm. As for the Eagles, their season comes to a close.