La Mirada, CA:
Menlo's bid at splitting their season opening pair down in southern California went by the books Saturday evening, as the Oaks dropped their second straight to begin the 2012-13 campaign, 74-63 to NAIA DI #13 Biola University. A late second half swoon cost Menlo, wiping away what was a slim Oaks advantage with just over two minutes to go in the affair. The Eagles closed things out an a devastating 12-0 run to notch the "W" in their season opener.
Down 62-61 with 2:20 remaining in the game, Menlo's Malik Dunbar picked up the pieces on a ChaRunn Jones miss, tipping it in to push the Oaks on top, 63-62. The Dunbar make was one of just two field goals laced in for the junior from Fairfield, CA, but the rebound made him the only player on the court with at least ten boards. The bucket would prove to be the last points scored for Menlo on the evening.
Biola's dynamic duo of Zack Zaragoza and Dakota Anderson took over in the concluding two minutes, accounting for ten of the Eagles final 12 points in their 12-0 spurt down the stretch. Zaragoza began the run with a pair of free throws to give Biola a 64-63 lead with exactly two minutes left. After a Charles Barnes miss on the opposite end, Zaragoza nailed a jumper while being fouled, setting up a three point play the old fashion way with the ensuing free throw. Zaragoza converted on the attempt to propel the Eagles to a now 67-63 lead with only 1:31 left. The junior from Huntington Beach finished with a game high 22 points, chipping in with nine rebounds as well.
The Oaks would go on to miss two straight three's in their comeback attempt, with a second straight Biola "and one" sandwiched in between to push the Menlo deficit to 70-63 with just 56 seconds left. This time it was the aforementioned Dakota Anderson who did the honors. The sophomore guard from Phoenix finished with 11.
Despite the loss, the Oaks represented a resilient bunch, fighting back from a nine point second half hole to earn the one point lead. Senior ChaRunn Jones and junior Charles Barnes played a pivotal role in the comeback trail, accounting for 32 of Menlo's 63 points, including nine of the Oaks 11 three pointers.
Menlo will now set their sights on their much anticipated home opener, this Thursday, November 1st at 7:00pm. The Oaks will clash with Corban University.