Men’s basketball survives upset bid
After taking down the University of Antelope Valley in an electrifying home opener on Nov. 12, the Eagles returned to Chase Gymnasium on Nov. 14 to face the San Diego Christian College Hawks. Although Biola entered the game heavily favored, SDCC came in with plenty of familiarity with the Eagles and their home court, having played there numerous times when both teams were members of the Golden State Athletic Conference. The Hawks used that experience to give the Eagles all they could handle, fighting until the end of a 74-65 Biola victory.
The Eagles started the game on a 13-5 run by making their first five shots, but their offense quickly stalled as SDCC responded with a huge run of their own. The Hawks outscored the Eagles 23-5 during a stretch of just over six minutes in the first half, eventually building a 28-17 lead that left the home crowd stunned. Biola refused to give in, however, eating away at the deficit until a jumper from junior forward Levi Auble beat the halftime buzzer and brought the deficit to within one going into the intermission.
“Going into the half, we... just kind of came together and said, ‘Okay, we’re more mature than this team, we’re more skilled, and we just have to go out there and get it,’” said senior guard Blake Shannon Jr. “We have the fans behind us, we’re on our home court, and we need to keep home court advantage.”
The second half started much better for the Eagles, as Shannon drilled a three-pointer less than 15 seconds in, which put the Eagles back in front and sparked a 9-3 run capped off by a successful and-one from Auble. Biola would stretch their lead to as many as 15 thanks to Auble and junior guard Trevor Treinen, who each eclipsed double-digit scoring in the second half alone.
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However, SDCC again clawed back, forcing several of what would become 14 Eagles turnovers on the night. The Hawks looked like they had some hope when they hit their 11th three-pointer of the game to bring the score to 63-60, but Shannon found Treinen in the corner for a triple of his own to put the Eagles back up by six. From then on, SDCC never came within less than five points of tying the Eagles before the final horn sounded.
“We have some tough-minded kids that have been in big games,” said head coach Dave Holmquist. “They care a lot, they’re great people… they really want to do well, we just have to keep working at it.”
Shannon and Treinen combined for 32 points, eight rebounds and nine assists. Auble scored a game-high 20 points and chipped in seven rebounds and three assists of his own, while junior forward Alex Talma recorded 13 points and seven rebounds.
Despite the victory, Holmquist acknowledged that his team still has plenty to work on.
“We have to improve our defense, we’ve known that all fall,” Holmquist said. “We’re up and down on the offense right now, so there’s a number of things that we have to improve at, but it’s early in the year and we have some new players. We’ll get better.”