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Flames falter under senior’s ferocity

Annie Park and Joclyn Kirton put on a show against Bethesda to wrap up Biola’s NAIA career in dramatic fashion.   |   Amelia Mowry/THE CHIMES

 

Women’s basketball had a special day on saturday, Feb. 25 for many reasons. It was not only senior night for guard Annie Park and forward Joclyn Kirton, but it also marked the final regular season home game for the Eagles as a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics school.

Park's all-time record

The Bethesda University Flames fell victim to a huge second-half offensive output from the Eagles, as Biola went on to a hard-fought 94-87 victory. That win pushes their overall record to 23-6, their conference record to 13-3 and their home record this season to 14-1, a new program record.

Park made sure her senior night was one to remember, as she set a new program record for most made three-pointers in a single game. She made 11 of her 16 tries from behind the three-point line, with eight of those makes coming in the second half.

In addition, she cemented her role as one of the top players in the NAIA by increasing her total number of made threes this season to 98, putting her in sole possession of first place in that category. Park finished the game with a game-high 36 points, going 12-19 overall from the field plus one free throw.

Kirton had an excellent senior night performance as well, finishing with 23 points and 12 rebounds for her 11th double-double of the season. Kirton had her greatest efficiency in the first quarter, when she scored 10 of her points to keep Biola in contention with the hot-shooting Flames.

Senior night to remember

“Honestly, I couldn’t have done it without any of my teammates,” Kirton said. “With all the great passes and all the great plays they make…they’re the ones that help me get whatever I score.”

Junior guard DeMoria White also had a great night offensively, scoring 20 points on 7-12 shooting and six made free throws. She made two three-pointers, moving her season total to 88, good enough for third place in the NAIA.

Bethesda came out on fire in the first half, shooting 20-41 from the field for 48.8 percent, which gave them a substantial 49-35 lead at the halftime break. The Eagles had a dominant third quarter, however, and brought the score back to a 62-62 deadlock going into the final quarter. With 5:53 left in the fourth, Bethesda scored a three-pointer to make the score 78-77 Biola. From there, the Eagles put their foot on the gas and never let off, sealing the victory on behalf of Park and Kirton.

“Honestly, I’m just really grateful that we won,” Park said. “More so than it being senior night or me breaking a record, I’m just really glad we won because they gave us a really difficult game.”

Thanks to their second-place standing in the Golden State Athletic Conference, Biola earned a first-round bye in the GSAC tournament. As a result, they play on Saturday, March 4 at 5 p.m. against the winner of the first-round game between San Diego Christian College and Westmont College.

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