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Monday, February 27, 2006 - GSAC Game #20
Sunbirds 87, Hope International 73

Box score

Fullerton - The Fresno Pacific University Sunbirds did exactly what they needed to do tonight, but it wasn't enough to advance to the postseason.

The Sunbirds used 22 points from Moustafa El Zanaty and 21 more from Josh Urbiztondo to pick up the 87-73 Golden State Athletic Conference win over Hope International they needed, but they didn't get the help they were looking for.

FPU also needed a California Baptist loss at Biola to claim the eighth and final GSAC postseason berth. Instead the Lancers led wire-to-wire building a huge 18-point lead by half-time (42-24). They never let the Eagles get closer than five points (69-64 with 62 seconds to play) the rest of the way.

"It is disappointing not to advance," said FPU head coach Clark Sheehy. "You feel pretty good when you close out (the regular season) winning four out of five. You feel like you have some momentum and a chance to move on, but we left it in somebody else's hands. I'm so proud of our guys and how they battled."

Senior forwards Rudy Lopez and Lesego Molebatsi scored 18 and 16 points, respectively. Molebatsi also pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds.

Enrique Villareal led the Royals with 16 points.

The Sunbirds end their season with an overall 15-13 mark. It is only FPU's second winning season in the last nine.

The Royals end their season winless, 0-26 overall and 0-20 in GSAC play.

California Baptist (13-15, 8-12) will travel to top-seeded Azusa Pacific (25-5, 16-4) on Thursday night.

Updated Records
Sunbirds: 15-13, 8-12
Hope International: 0-26, 0-20

Updated Series
Tonight's contest will be the 19th in a series that dates back to January 20, 1973. The Sunbirds hold a 17-2 advantage, including a 12-2 mark in GSAC games.

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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
DOMINICAN
GOLDEN STATE BAP
Dominican
NORTRE DAME
California Baptist *
CONCORDIA *
LIFE PACIFIC
CSU Monterey Bay
Holy Names
Westmont *
PT LOMA NAZ *
Biola *
VANGUARD *
The Master's *
AZUSA PACIFIC *
San Diego Chr *
HOPE INTER *
Concordia *
CAL BAPTIST *
WESTMONT *
Pt Loma Naz *
BIOLA *
Vanguard *
THE MASTER'S *
Azusa Pacific *
SAN DIEGO CHR *
Hope International *
* GSAC contest

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