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.
“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.
“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.
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.