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MEN'S BASKETBALL: BIOLA SENIOR FEELS AT HOME THE MASTER'S UNABLE TO CONTROL AUGUSTINE, TOP-RANKED EAGLES BIOLA 79, THE MASTER'S 67.

Byline: Chris Cocoles Staff Writer

SANTA CLARITA - Kevin Augustine's nomadic basketball career had taken him on pilgrimages from Mater Dei High to USC and then Nebraska.

But the way he frolicked all over Bross Gym on Saturday night, Augustine is most proud of the Biola University jersey he wears as a collegiate senior.

Happiness is being with his mom, being in balmy L.A. rather than Arctic-like Lincoln and being the go-to guy on the NAIA's top-ranked team, which stayed unbeaten with a 79-67 Golden State Athletic Conference victory over The Master's College in front of a standing-room-only crowd of 1,300.

The Eagles (18-0, 8-0) have plenty of talent surrounding him, but Augustine meshes it together. Of 24 total points, Augustine scored 15 and 12 in a row during a decisive 20-8 run after the Mustangs (11-6, 3-5) crept within 41-38 early in the second half.

``A lot of teams have played close to us in the first half, and we're playing good teams,'' Augustine said. ``But I think it's a tell-tale sign of this team how much determination we have. We really put our foot down in the second half.''

Augustine finally has landed on his feet after two years at USC and another at Nebraska. His mother, Bettye, was diagnosed with cancer (she's since in remission). That family crisis, plus the idea of freezing in the Cornhusker State, made getting closer to home a necessity.

His arrival has Biola poised to get back to the NAIA Nationals, where the Eagles lost in last season's quarterfinals. But winning isn't the primary reason for Augustine's bliss.

``I'm definitely more content. Happier. At those places, sometimes you lose your love for the game,'' Augustine said. ``I never had a problem playing on the court, it was always that something came along with it.

``At this (Christian) school, everyone is so devout being into the Lord and not worrying so much about everything else. Your mind's clear, so you can just play basketball.''

Biola does it well, especially from the 3-point range Saturday. The Eagles made 10 of 21 attempts. The Mustangs, who have lost four consecutive games, were led by point guard Brandee Jones' 25 and Tyler Hoffman's 14.

But The Master's couldn't account for Augustine, who had five assists and just two turnovers in 36 minutes.

Women

--The Master's 55, Biola 47: The No. 22 Mustangs (12-5, 5-3) weren't at their best Saturday but got what they desperately needed, a win entering Tuesday's showdown against 18th-ranked Fresno Pacific.

Two GSAC losses in its last three games dropped The Master's to sixth place. But a win over conference-leading Fresno Pacific (6-2) would get the Mustangs on the verge of first place.

``The conference is up for grabs right now. We're really close to taking off,'' said junior All-American Lesley DuBois, who scored a game-high 25 points and added 10 rebounds.

CAPTION(S):

photo

Photo:

Christopher Sanders of The Master's, right, collides with Biola's Kevin Augustine in Saturday's game.

Eric Grigorian/Special to the Daily News
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jan 13, 2002
Words:505
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