LA MIRADA, Calif. – Danny Campbell scored a career-high 32 points, including 18 in the first half, but it was All-GSAC center Rocky Hampton and his band of Biola big boys that led the NAIA’s No. 5-ranked Biola University to a convincing 90-77 Golden State Athletic Conference victory over No. 22 Azusa Pacific University Tuesday evening before a full house in Chase Gym.
Hampton pulled an inside job on the Cougars, dominating Biola’s offensive end in the paint with 20 points while scaring away any and every Cougar at the other basket with 10 rebounds and 5 blocked shots, some of them that were quite impressive. Hampton’s performance was so inspiring that he led an Eagle squad that crushed Azusa Pacific on the boards, 45-30, a domination that was similar to points on the scoreboard.
A Campbell trey started an early 11-0 Eagle run that put Biola up 13-3, and from there the Eagles rolled, leading by 13 at halftime at 37-24, and then running out to several 20-point leads in the second half.
The Cougars had hoped to wreak havoc on Biola’s methodical halfcourt game with 40-minutes of high-pressure defense and high-speed attack. Yet for that scheme to work, they also had to defend the 3-point arc, and Campbell hurt them with 4 first-half treys, including one that started the 11-0 run and then 3 more in a 12-3 Eagle blitz from which Azusa Pacific could never recover.
By the time the Cougars found Campbell on the perimeter and limit his touches, the Eagles went to Hampton on the inside, taking advantage of an undersized Cougar front that was missing center Reggie Owens (knee) . Biola’s zone defense kept Azusa Pacific at bay, and when the Cougars did dare to drive into the land of the bigs, the Cougars got their shots swatted or altered. Hampton’s presence was so prevalent that Azusa Pacific attempted just 9 shots inside the arc in the first half, compared to 21 from beyond.
Along with Hampton’s effort, 3 Eagles were in double-digits on the glass. Campbell collected 10 rebounds, all on the defensive end, for a double-double of his own, and Josh Miller grabbed 11 rebounds. Even reserve David Cline got into the action with 6 rebounds, but he is more likely to be remembered for his monster baseline dunk over Cougar Christian Katuala that sent Biola fans running onto the floor with just over 9 minutes left in the game. It was 1 of 5 Eagle slams on the night, and it gave Biola its first 20-point lead at 55-35.
For the evening, the Eagles scored 42 points in the paint, explaining their fine .569 (29-for-51) shooting clip, and they simply would not allow Azusa Pacific near its own basket, holding the Cougars to just 18 paint points.
Azusa Pacific trailed by double-digits throughout much of the second half, and only late flurry of 3-pointers by Dominique Johnson and Caleb Burgess could get the Cougars to within 9 in the final minute. They were the only Cougars in double-digits in scoring, Johnson finishing with 32 and Burgess adding 20.
Combined with its 85-69 victory at Azusa Pacific last month, Biola records its first regular-season sweep of Azusa Pacific since 2002, a good sign for the front-running Eagles, whose only GSAC championship came in 2002.
With the victory, Biola improves to 22-2 overall, 12-2 in the GSAC. Azusa Pacific falls to 16-8 overall, 9-5 in the GSAC.