Riverside, CA - In what might be the biggest comeback victory in school history, the Golden Eagles, led by their seniors, erased a 22-point lead in the final six and a half minutes of the game, to win their fifth game of the season over New Hope Christian College.
In what seems like a trend the last few games, the Golden Eagles came up just short against Bethesda University and West Coast Baptist in their late game comeback attempts.
With 6:26 remaining in the game New Hope held a 73-51 lead. From that point on, it was all Golden Eagles, as they outscored the Deacons 27-2 for the remainder of the ball game.
During that run the Golden Eagles connected on six of their nine field goal attempts, including 3-of-5 from beyond the arc. They forced New Hope into five turnovers and held them without a field goal for the final 6:26 of the game. New Hope scored only two points on two free throws.
A Javion Garner field goal, off of a New Hope turnover gave the Golden Eagles a one-point lead with .38 seconds remaining. The Deacons subsequently turned the ball over and were forced to foul. Guard CJ Goldsmith went to the line and calmly knocked down two free throws to extend the lead to three points.
The Deacons had a shot at the buzzer that glanced off the front rim, in their attempt to send the game into overtime.
Garner's field goal to take the lead in the final minute was the only lead the Golden Eagles had in the game and ultimately the only lead that mattered.
Aside from the comeback victory, it was a great send-off for the Golden Eagles seniors, Joshua Zonker and Bennett Shaw, who were playing in their final home game of their collegiate careers.
Shaw had a season-high 29 points to lead all players. Fellow senior Zonker finished with 14 points and had a team-high nine rebounds. Freshmen Marcos Hazelwood pitched in with 13 points while Javion Garner tallied seven points, four assists, and two steals.
The Golden Eagles, now 5-23, will close the season out on Thursday evening when they travel to West Coast Baptist College. The game is scheduled to tip-off at 7:30pm.