LA MIRADA, Calif. – One can always be certain that when Biola University arrives on the schedule, the game means just a little bit more. As powerhouses in the Golden State Athletic Conference, Biola is never an easy task for any program to handle on a given night. Menlo College Women's Basketball was up for the challenge on Saturday afternoon, looking to build off their first conference win of the season on Thursday in Fullerton. Menlo gave the Eagles a run for their money in the first half, but Biola was able to pull ahead and secure a 74-57 victory over the Oaks. The Eagles improve to 15-4 (6-1) on the season while Menlo falls to 8-11 (1-5).
Menlo did not trail in the entire first quarter, thanks to a lightning-quick start from the team's prolific scorers. Aliyah Brantley got the party started with a layup, and was followed up by Emma Briggs just seconds later. Alexis Delovio hit a three-pointer and Menlo scored the first seven points of the game. Biola was able to keep the game close from that point moving forward, but could not tie the game up until a Demoria White three-pointer with 21 seconds left in the quarter. Both teams wound up putting 21 points on the board in the opening frame, leading to an intriguing second quarter. Defense was the theme in the second quarter, as both teams backed off of their pace to open the game. Again it was Menlo that led early on, but Biola stretched the lead to as many as seven points midway through the quarter. Menlo went on an 8-0 in the next four minutes to pull ahead by one point with a minute remaining. A free-throw and a layup in the final seconds of the quarter gave Biola a halftime lead of 36-34, one they would not relinquish.
The third quarter belonged to the Eagles, and it was at this point that they began to fly high. They outscored the Oaks 19-9 in the third quarter, and aside from the four points put up by Celina Pagan in the quarter, Menlo could not generate anything offensively. The same could be said for the majority of the second half, as Menlo shot just 25% from the field, making only seven baskets. The fight put up in the fourth quarter was better than that of the third, but the damage was already done. The lead never got closer than ten points in the final quarter, and would have been much worse had it not been for five Pagan points in the final 36 seconds of the game.
Pagan led all Menlo scorers with 17 points on the night, and she shot 7-13 from the field. She also tied for second on the team in rebounds with 7. The leader in the rebound department was Brantley, who happened to be second on the team in points with 13. No other Menlo player was able to crack double-digits, though Kelsey McKeon came close with 9 points. Delovio may have only scored 5 points on the night, but also contributed with 4 steals and 5 assists.
The three-game road trip wraps on Tuesday night for the Oaks as they return to the Bay Area and will make a NorCal trip to Rocklin to take on William Jessup. Tip-off for the game is slated at 5:30 PM.