Eagles unable to fly past Lions
Following a first-round loss to Langston University, Biola’s men’s basketball says goodbye to NAIA competition. | Caroline Sommers/THE CHIMES
The final National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics game for Biola’s men’s basketball team occurred on March 15, when the men faced off against the Langston University Lions inside Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Mo. The two teams stayed close throughout the game, with the score differential never going above nine. However, at the end, the No. 21 Lions upset the No. 12 Eagles by a final score of 78-76 in the first round of the tournament.
The game started with a red-hot Biola offense, jumping out to the largest lead of the game with 12:11 left in the first half as the score read 20-11 Eagles. However, Langston’s three-point shooting kept them in the game in the first half, as they made seven of their 10 attempts while Biola converted only five of their 13.
The bright spot in the first half for Biola had to be sophomore guard Trevor Treinen, who went 4-6 from behind the arc with one free throw to lead the Eagles with 13 points. He also was a co-leader in rebounds for the half with senior forward Jeff Gonzalez, as both grabbed four.
An excellent 64.3 field goal percentage from the Lions vastly outmatched Biola’s 48.3, resulting in a 46-40 Langston lead at the break.
Biola entered the second half with another offensive push, scoring nine unanswered points in the first three minutes. From there, both teams basically traded baskets with neither side taking more than a four-point lead.
the end of an era
With two minutes left on the clock, senior forward Caelan Tiongson tipped the ball in and reduced the lead to one point. Just 27 seconds later, another Langston triple made it a two-possession game for Biola. Senior forward Ryan Swain was sent to the free-throw line and made both to make it a two point game with 1:06 left in the game. A pair of missed shots from the Lions gave Biola the chance to win with :07 left on the clock, but Treinen could not find space to shoot and time expired, bringing a close to not only the game but the Eagles’ season.
Biola finished their final NAIA season with an overall record of 26-6, and though they are losing five seniors this year, the future looks bright for Biola men’s basketball as they make the transition to NCAA Division II play starting next season.