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NAIA TOURNAMENT

Walker Is Clutch for Azusa

March 20, 1999| From Staff and Wire Reports

After going 8-0 in the first two rounds, the Golden State Athletic Conference suffered its first two losses in the NAIA Division I men's basketball tournament Friday at Tulsa, Okla. But it is one day away from possibly being the only conference represented in Monday's final.

All-American T.J. Walker turned in a huge game for seventh-seeded Azusa Pacific, the tournament's highest remaining seeded team. Walker was four of four on three-point shots and scored 17 points to lead the Cougars past second-seeded Union of Tennessee, 85-77.

With Azusa trailing, 31-27, late in the first half, Walker made two three-point shots, the second giving the Cougars (29-5) a 36-34 halftime lead.

"After I hit the first three, I felt good," Walker said. "The rest of my shots, I knew were going in."

The victory puts the Cougars in the semifinals for the second consecutive year. It also ended an 18-game winning streak for the Bulldogs (35-3).

Westmont 67, Oklahoma Baptist 54--Both teams shot poorly, with the No. 12-seeded Bison (31-7) holding a 35.2% to 34.6% advantage. But the No. 13-seeded Warriors had 10 more rebounds and made 16 more free throws to secure the win. Westmont (29-5), which got a second consecutive double-double from Chris Gomes (14 points, 14 rebounds) used a 13-0 run to take a 48-36 with 6:45 left.

Mobile (Ala.) 71, Biola 59--A lack of depth and 17 turnovers were enough to keep the 16th-seeded Eagles from advancing. Biola (29-7) led, 13-6, then scored only three of the game's next 21 points and trailed, 24-16. They never got close to the eighth-seeded Rams (33-5).

"We knew coming in here we didn't have a lot of depth," Biola Coach Dave Holmquist said. "We played a little tired."

Life (Ga.) 83, Concordia 67--With a 63-53 lead, Concordia's shooting went cold and the Eagles (22-16) scored only four points the rest of the way. Concordia, which shot 34.5% in the second half and had 18 turnovers, was led by Brian Vander Wal's 20 points. Corey Evans had 32 for the Running Eagles (27-10).

Oklahoma Baptist 94, Southern California College 80--The 12th-seeded Bison (20-10) shot 63.3% in the second half to eliminate the Vanguards (27-9) in the second round of the Division I women's tournament at Jackson, Tenn.

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