Sports briefs: Fresno Pacific advances to national tourney
John Taylor added 39 points to his single-season record total at Fresno Pacific, but it was about more than piling Wednesday night at the Special Events Center.
The Sunbirds needed just about all of Taylor’s total to hold off Azusa Pacific 109-105 in the West Regional championship of the National Christian College Athletic Association men’s basketball tournament.
Fresno Pacific moves to the NCCAA nationals March 13-16 in Winona Lake, Ind.
“I’m proud of our guys,” Sunbirds coach Chris Wright said. “They really competed and beat a good team tonight.”
Matt Samuels scored 20 and Malcolm Griffin 19 for the Sunbirds (20-7), who had split two regular-season meetings with Azusa Pacific. Troy Leaf and Sharif Watson had 24 each for the Cougars (13-14).
It wasn’t easy for Fresno Pacific, despite building a 53-35 lead on Taylor’s steal and layup with 3 minutes, 14 seconds left in the first half.
Azusa Pacific rallied to cut the halftime deficit to 57-46, then went ahead 72-70 on Leaf’s three-point play with 14:14 remaining in the game. The Cougars hit 19 of 37 shots from the field in the second half.
Fresno Pacific led just 86-85 with 7:39 to go, but a Malcolm Griffin dunk capped a 9-2 run that made it 95-87 with 5:24 left.
Azusa got within 106-103 with 28 seconds left, but Taylor hit 1 of 2 free throws and Matt Samuels a pair to ice it.
Fresno State’s Yoho awaits NCAAs
Fresno State’s Dani Yoho is on the list of invitees for the NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships, becoming the first since coach Jeanne Fleck relaunched the program in 2008.
Yoho qualified in the 50- and 100-yard free for the March 21-23 meet in Indianapolis. She owns the school record in the 50 at 22.32 — 28th-best in the nation this season.
Bulldogs golfer Sodersten collects Mountain West player of week nod
Fresno State’s Hannah Sodersten is the Mountain West women’s golfer of the week for the first time in her career after tying for 11th at the Juli Inkster Spartan Invite.
The freshman shot 8-over 224 (74-76-74) with seven birdies and an eagle as the Bulldogs place eighth out of 14 teams.
Reedley JC golfers go 1-2 in victory
Reedley College’s TJ Masters and Sergio Rios shared low-medalist honors at 69 as the Tigers won a Central Valley Conference mini-tourney at par-72 Lemoore GC.
Reedley totaled 361 strokes, with West Hills-Lemoore at 388 and Fresno City 395.
Clovis church to host Olympian Lolo Jones
Olympic 100-meter hurdler and bobsledder Lolo Jones is coming to Clovis this month for an Easter celebration.
Northside Christian Church, on Nees between Chestnut and Willow, said it will host Jones during services at 6 p.m. March 30 and 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. March 31.
Information: (559) 323-9675.