Fueled by 16 points apiece from Emily Drews and Adijat Adams, Biola flew by an outmanned and injury-challenged TMC squad Saturday evening, en route to a 60-47 triumph in Bross Gym.
The loss dropped the Mustangs to 6-5 overall but, more importantly, 0-2 in the GSAC.
With several starters hurting but still playing, including junior guard Lena Rivera (elbow), the Mustangs put up valiant resistance in the first half before succumbing to the Eagles in the final period.
The Mustangs led twice in the early, 4-2 on a Zoe Scott layup and 6-5 on a Lindsey Levanen bucket. But, the Eagles took over from there, keeping the Mustangs off the board for five minutes and reeling off a 7-2 spurt to go up 12-8 with 11:50 left in the opening half.
Rivera canned a pair of free throws to pull her club within two but moments later, the Eagles used a 6-0 burst to lengthen their advantage to 22-13 at the 8:15 mark.
Again, the Mustangs fought back, closing the deficit to five (22-17) on a pair of Scott charity tosses and a Morgan Schwegler layup. But, the Eagles retaliated in a game-changing manner, outscoring the Mustangs 11-4 over the final six minutes of the half to take a 33-21 lead to the locker room.
The Eagles shot just under 45% from the field in the first half, including a 3-5 showing from behind the arc, while holding the Mustangs to 36% accuracy. Drews (14) and Adams (8) combined for 22 points while a trio of Mustangs tallied four points apiece.
Showing no letup, the Eagles carried their late, first-half surge through the break and into the final period, scoring the first five points, all from Lauren Gustafson, to move ahead 38-21. Shrugging off three points by Ella Joines, the Eagles ripped off eight points in a row as the margin ballooned to 44-24 on an Adams’ layup with 14:24 remaining.
The lead grew to a game-high 23 points (53-30) when Drews stuck a jumper with 5:23 left and the Eagles cruised home from there. The Mustangs made a late push, tallying 10 points, including five from Whitney Best, to make the score more palatable but it was much too late.
Although the Mustangs went 4-8 from behind the arc in the second half, their overall percentage fell to just over 30%.
Huff and Scott were the only Mustangs in double figures, tallying 10 points apiece. Both went 3-6 from the field with Scott draining a pair of three-balls while Huff was 4-4 at the line. Despite the elbow pain, Rivera grabbed a team-high six rebounds.
The loss couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Mustangs who have to chew on this one until December 28 when they begin play in the Biola Holiday Classic at La Mirada. On that date, the Mustangs will tangle with Hastings from Nebraska in the first of three games in as many days.