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Saturday, January 14, 2006
GSAC Game #6 -
Sunbirds 70, Vanguard 69

Box Score

Fresno - It was an old-fashioned barn-burner in the Special Events Center and when the flames had finally died down the host Fresno Pacific University Sunbirds emerged with a 70-69 Golden State Athletic Conference win.

It came at the expense of the visiting Lions of Vanguard Lions.

Lesego Molebatsi led FPU with 23 points and six rebounds. Eleven of Molebatsi's points came at the charity stripe, the final one proved to be the margin of victory.

FPU trailed by six points, 69-63, with 1:41 to play when Molebatsi strapped the Sunbirds on his back and carried them to the win. He hit a pair of free throws at 1:32 to cut the Lions lead to four (69-65), then nailed two more after the Lions missed a shot and fouled him on the drive.

The Lions called a time-out with 53 seconds left to set up their next possession, but Levi Seekins could not find the range on a two-point jumper.

Moustafa El Zanaty rebounded for the Sunbirds, gave it to Josh Urbiztondo who found Molebatsi in the paint. Molebatsi scored to tie it, was fouled, and calmly drained the winning free throw with 9.4 ticks left on the clock.

FPU's defense held as the Lions final shot, at the buzzer, was short.

"We told our guys that it was going to be close," said a pleased, but wearied FPU head coach Clark Sheehy. "They (the Lions) are a good team and they played a great game tonight. We had to try to find a way to stay close, then find a way to pull it out. We did that tonight. We protected our home court. That's what we have to do."

Rudy Lopez added 18 points for FPU. Urbiztondo finished with eight points and four rebounds. Roderick Chernouski came off the bench to score eight points and lead FPU with seven rebounds.

Seekins led the Lions, now 9-8 overall and 3-4 in GSAC play, with 22 points and nine rebounds. Brian Roberts scored 15 and Horace Wormely chipped in with 14.

The Sunbirds will be in Santa Clarita on Tuesday to face The Master's College Mustangs.

They return home next Thursday to host GSAC-leading Azusa Pacific. Tip-off time in the Special Events Center is 7:30 p.m.

Updated Records
Vanguard: 9-8, 3-4
Fresno Pacific: 9-5, 2-4

Updated Series Record
Tonight's contest was the 66th meeting of the two teams. The Sunbirds now hold a 37-29 advantage, including a 22-17 lead in GSAC games.

Next Game
Tuesday, January 17 (7:30) - The Sunbirds will be in Santa Clarita to face The Master's College.

Next Home Game
Thursday, January 19 (7:30) - The Sunbirds will host Azusa Pacific University.


Fresno Pacific University offers undergraduate and graduate programs that stress solid academic preparation and a strong ethical foundation. Each year more than 2,000 traditional and adult students attend classes on the 42-acre main campus in southeast Fresno or centers in Visalia and Bakersfield. The university also reaches 12,000 students across the nation and around the world through professional development studies programs. The only four-year Christian university in the Central Valley, FPU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and ranked in the top quarter among Western universities master's category by U.S. News & World Report.

Opponent - Score - Record
Westminster T
Westminster T
Idaho State
Fresno State
California Baptist *
CSU Monterey Bay
Holy Names
Westmont *
Biola *
The Master's *
San Diego Chr *
Concordia *
Pt Loma Naz *
Vanguard *
Azusa Pacific *
Hope International *
* GSAC contest

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