Men’s basketball scraps their way through tough, OT win against Academy of Art

The Eagles went back and forth with the Urban Knights in an exciting second half.

Zachary Devane , Freelance Writer

Men’s basketball earned a hard fought win on Thursday night against the Academy of Art Urban Knights, 71-69. The overtime thriller culminated in a game winning layup by redshirt senior forward Michael Bagatourian with only six seconds left on the clock.

The win against the top-ranked scoring team in the PacWest Conference moves the Eagles to 8-3 in conference and further solidifies them in the race for a playoff spot.

Bagatourian led all scorers with 28 points on an extremely efficient 10-16 shooting, while also chipping in nine rebounds and four assists. Redshirt junior guard Alex Wright filled the stat sheet, contributing 11 points, three steals and six rebounds, while fellow redshirt senior guard Chris Rossow had eight points to go along with five rebounds, five assists and two steals.

SLOW START, STRONG FINISH

Biola came out of the gate slow, only scoring nine points in the opening 10 minutes. In this period they shot 4/14 from the field, including 0/6 from three-point range. The defensive battle continued throughout the first half.

The breakthrough came after Wright scored a quick four points with 6:31 left in the first half, highlighted by a steal and dunk. This led to a 15-5 run to close out the half for the Eagles, who led 29-25 at the break.

SECOND HALF BREAKTHROUGH

In the second half, the scoring opened up for both teams. They continued to trade jabs all the way down to the final minute, where it was tied 61-61 after Russow made two free throws. The Urban Knights had the final possession, in which they missed a shot to win the game before heading into overtime.

In the extra period, the Eagles came out strong to secure a 69-66 lead with only 29.2 seconds left. Academy of Art junior guard Klay Brown hit a 3-pointer to tie the game, 69-69, with 12 seconds left before Rossow took a quick inbounds pass down the court and found Bagatourian for the game winning layup. Academy of Art did not get a shot up in the final six seconds after Bagatourian’s layup. The Eagles took the game in overtime, 71-69.

The Eagles (14-4 overall, 8-3 conference) will be in action again at Chase Gymnasium against the Hawaii Hilo Vulcans on Jan. 29 at 7:30 p.m. Footage and stats from the game are located on the Biola Athletics website.

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