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Conference playoffs over, national playoffs to come

Women’s basketball’s GSAC run comes to an end against Westmont, but the Eagles are still headed to the NAIA playoffs.   Caroline Sommers/THE CHIMES

 

With a gritty win over the Bethesda University Flames on Feb. 25 in the back of their minds, Biola’s women’s basketball team traveled to Santa Clarita, Calif. to face the No. 7 Westmont College Warriors in the semifinal round of the Golden State Athletic Conference playoffs. Both teams performed poorly on the offensive end, with Westmont coming out on top with a final score of 59-51.

One of those games

“Westmont is a great team defensively and we were not able to get our offense flowing the entire game,” said senior forward Joclyn Kirton. “Sometimes our shots do not fall, and unfortunately, it was just one of those games for us.”

They went 34.4 percent from the field overall, but where they really struggled was behind the arc. The Eagles took 25 three-point attempts and made only two of them for a truly awful 8 percent from deep.

Conversely, Westmont made five of their 17 threes for a 29.4 three-point percent, contributing to their overall 32.8 field goal percentage. The Warriors outpaced the Eagles in the rebounds category, as they pulled down 50 boards to Biola’s 32. On the offensive end, Westmont grabbed 23 whereas Biola only had 13.

A surreal feeling

In terms of scoring, Westmont’s Kayla Sato (24) and Lauren McCoy (17) scored 41 points by themselves, nearly the 43 that all five of Biola’s starters combined for. Kirton led the Eagles’ offensive effort with 10 points, followed by nine points each from senior guard Annie Park, junior guard DeMoria White and sophomore forward Sara Dougan.

Biola’s overall record drops to 23-7 and they finished the final season of their GSAC career with a 13-3 record. The Eagles will travel to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics tournament in Kansas City, Mo. for the first time since 2012, where they will face Central Methodist University on March 15 at 8:15 a.m. PST.

“For me personally, this is something I have wanted ever since I came to Biola three years ago, and to finally be able to go [to NAIA] my last year here is almost a surreal feeling,” Park said. “I'm so proud of my teammates and coaches, and I hope we are able to make a good run in the tournament, but regardless of what happens, I am so thankful that we are even given such a wonderful opportunity to compete with the best teams in the country.”

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