Bagatourian shines in MBB loss
For the second straight night, men’s basketball suffered a 20-point loss in San Marcos, Calif. on Nov. 11, dropping the Eagles’ record to 0-2. Chico State, the No. 7-ranked squad in Division II of the NCAA, pulled ahead late to defeat the Eagles 80-58 to complete a forgettable PacWest and California Collegiate Athletic Association Challenge for Biola.
40 POINT HALVES
Head coach Dave Holmquist sat two of his starters, senior guard Blake Shannon Jr. and junior center Alex Talma, due to injury, crippling a Biola team that already had uncertainty surrounding its depth. However, that gave more opportunities to freshman forward Michael Bagatourian, who turned in another promising performance to provide a silver lining for the Eagles.
The game started out tightly contested, with junior forward Levi Auble scoring the Eagles’ first eight points to keep pace with Chico’s offense. After Auble subbed out, Bagatourian took over, scoring six points to keep the game within a possession midway into the first half. With both Auble and Bagatourian off the floor, however, Chico went on a 13-1 run to open up a 13-point lead. The Eagles went on a nearly eight-minute stretch between field goals late in the first half, bookended by layups from Bagatourian, and could not find a spark before halftime, heading into the locker room down by 12.
Biola played Chico evenly to start the second half but the Eagles could not put a serious dent into their deficit. After Biola came within 10 on a three-pointer from freshman guard Kenneth Arrick with 10 minutes remaining, Chico shut the door on a potential Eagles comeback with a five-minute, 14-4 run to go up 70-50 and essentially end the game. By the time the final buzzer sounded, Chico had dropped 40 points on the Eagles defense in each half.
Despite the blowout loss, Bagatourian led all scorers with 18 points on 8-13 shooting, making both of his attempts from three-point range. He also recorded two assists, two rebounds, two steals and two turnovers. The freshman wing has been the brightest spot of the Eagles’ season so far, scoring 29 points in the first two games of his collegiate career.
Auble also notched double digits with 13 points, as did redshirt freshman forward Isaiah Jones who scored 10 after getting the start in Talma’s place. However, Jones continued his sloppy play from the first game, committing team-leading three fouls to go along with a whopping seven turnovers. Junior guard Trevor Treinen proved largely ineffective despite playing 32 minutes, going 0-5 from the field as all five of his points came off of free throws.
The Eagles will get some time to rest up and rebuild morale before their home opener against the University of Antelope Valley on Nov. 14. Before then, however, the Eagles will take their usual center stage in Midnight Madness festivities on Nov. 12.