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Blackmon, Barksdale Lead Offense as Toros Snap 8-Game Biola Streak, 75-56

Anthony Blackmon found a fitting way to tack his signature onto the end of Cal State Dominguez Hills’ runaway victory over Biola University Saturday night.

Blackmon took a lead pass from Derrick Clark on a breakaway with 2 seconds left and punctuated the game with a thundering two-handed dunk. The slam put Blackmon’s seal on Dominguez Hills’ 75-56 victory over visiting Biola, and with it, the Toros put an halt to another winning streak.

Biola (14-4) saw its 8-game streak snapped by the Toros in much the same way Grand Canyon College saw its 22-game string fall last week: Both teams ran into too much of Dominguez Hills’ scoring tandem of Blackmon and sophomore guard Robert Barksdale.

Blackmon and Barksdale scored 19 points apiece, and Dominguez Hills (9-5) boosted its winning streak to four games. The Toros have won 9 of their last 12--mostly, Coach Dave Yanai said, because the team’s offense is finally matching its hard-nosed defense.

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“Both ends are finally coming together,” said Yanai, who Saturday logged his 175th career victory. “We’re stepping it up a notch at the right time. It’s a great time to take our momentum into what I call the ‘second season.’ ”

The Toros won their California Collegiate Athletic Assn. opener Friday night, 82-71, against Chapman College. Saturday night’s non-league grudge match with Biola should propel Dominguez Hills into the next 13 league games with a head of steam.

The Toros had suffered a tough 69-67 double-overtime loss to Biola in the finals of the Cal Poly Pomona Bronco Classic in November. But Barksdale came out gunning Saturday night, and he buried a pair of 3-pointers in the opening minutes.

Then Blackmon, a 6-foot-7 senior center, caught fire with turnaround shots and outside jumpers and had 13 points in the first half, when the Toros shot a torrid 69 percent.

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“It’s important that Blackmon gets some baskets early,” Yanai said. “His shot selection was excellent, and the right guys got the ball at the right time.”

Barksdale added 8 assists, and Blackmon crashed the boards for 9 rebounds. Freshman forward Segaro Bozart had 16 points.

The Eagles never got closer than 12 points in the second half, despite center Ed Johansen’s 20 points. Biola guard Brande Studevan--who entered as the Eagles’ leading scorer with a 16-point average--was held to 11 points before fouling out with 6:07 left.

The Eagles rallied to trim Dominguez Hills’ lead to 50-38 early in the second period on Johansen’s 3-point play. But Blackmon ignited a 9-point Toro run with a short jumper, and Bryan Dell’Amico capped it with a 3-pointer to put the game out of reach.

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Blackmon had 25 points--16 of them in the first 10 minutes of the second half--in the Toros’ victory over Chapman on Friday night. Barksdale had 16 points and 6 assists, and Bozart added 13 in that game.


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