IRVINE, Calif. --- For the first time in program history, Biola won the GSAC Tournament title, defeating top-seeded Concordia University 81-77 behind a strong 21-point effort from the team's lone senior Davey Hopkins on Tuesday night at the CU Arena.
Biola, seeded third in the tournament and ranked No. 19 in the latest NAIA National Poll, records its eighth-straight win and its 13th in the last 14 games overall, improving to 25-8 on the season. Concordia, which is ranked No. 4 in the NAIA Poll, drops to 26-7. The NAIA Tournament awaits both teams with the final rankings and tournament pairings announced on Wednesday. While the berths had been secured ahead of time, the energy from both teams and all 2,400 fans made it seem like a loser-out affair.
Hopkins had another solid game, scoring a game-high 21 points including 11 from the free throw line and 15 in the second half. He added five assists, four rebounds and a pair of steals. Chase Adams came up huge in the opening 20 minutes and finished with 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Given Kalipinde scored 11 of his 16 points in the second half, adding four assists, four rebounds and three steals.
Biola pulled off an impressive feat, beating Concordia in all three match-ups between the two this season. In addition, Tuesday's win was its second-straight win over Concordia in Irvine after winning just once at the CU Arena over the last 10 years.
The tournament championship game appearance was the first for Biola in 10 years and the title was Biola's first in four attempts since joining the conference in 1993-94. The Eagles had lost their three previous trips to the finals to Azusa Pacific. Biola had won numerous titles when national tournament berths were awarded through District qualification prior to its GSAC days.
The victory also marks the second time this year a Biola team has defeated top-seeded Concordia in Irvine to win a GSAC Tournament title. In November, the men's soccer team overcame a two-goal deficit to beat Concordia 3-2 in double overtime.