Home sweet home for men’s basketball
Men's basketball win their season debut at Chase Gymnasium. | Thecla Li/THE CHIMES
Men’s basketball won their first game of the season in their NCAA Division II home debut on Nov. 14, beating an old National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics foe, the University of Antelope Valley Pioneers. The Eagles opened up a 13-point lead at halftime then staved off a Pioneers comeback to win 78-70.
BETTER SHOOTING LEADS TO FAST START
Biola immediately jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the game’s opening minutes thanks to a three-pointer from freshman forward Michael Bagatourian and two jumpers near the paint from junior forward Levi Auble. Auble led all scorers in the first half with 12 points and added five rebounds, helping the Eagles quickly build a comfortable lead over UAV.
“We knew we wanted to come out there and get a win,” Auble said. “The easiest way for me [to contribute] is just being aggressive in the paint, so I just wanted to go out there and get buckets for my team.”
Auble cooled off as the half went on, but Biola still maintained a healthy lead thanks to the deep ball as five different Eagles made three-pointers in the half. Junior guard Trevor Treinen, who made one of those shots, believes that the success from long range better reflected the team’s true identity.
“I knew we have a good shooting team,” Treinen said. “This past weekend, we had a couple bad shooting games, but I knew once we get in our home gym, we get in a little bit of a rhythm, and that’s exactly what we did.”
EAGLES HANG ON LATE
The Eagles extended their lead to as much as 19 in the second half, but Antelope Valley refused to quit. The Pioneers stormed back, playing at a faster tempo and using a full court press to knock the Eagles off their rhythm. Biola also lost Auble for a large chunk of the second half due to a minor injury. However, the Eagles still made clutch shots when it counted, such as a sequence with eight and a half minutes left in the game and Biola only up by four. Senior guard Blake Shannon, Jr. nailed a three-pointer, Treinen was then fouled and made both free throws, then on the next possession beat three UAV players to tip in his own missed shot. Later, after the Pioneers narrowed the lead back to six, Treinen made a clutch corner three to help seal the Eagles’ victory.
Auble led his team in scoring with 20 points while Treinen finished with 19 and Shannon had 11 and also chipped in five assists. Junior center Alex Talma had a game-high 12 rebounds. Every Biola player to see the court eventually scored, and six different Eagles had at least one steal as the team finished with nine total.
Biolans’ next chance to pack out Chase Gymnasium will come on Nov. 16, as the Eagles will take on San Diego Christian College in another home nonconference contest.