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Men’s basketball bounces back

Eagles come back for another home victory against Penguins.  |  Thecla Li / THE CHIMES [file]

 

After a beatdown at California Baptist University on Feb. 10, Men’s basketball rebounded with a late comeback for a 70-66 win over the Dominican University Penguins on Feb. 12 at Chase Gymnasium. The victory extended the Eagles’ home win streak to three games and gave them their fifth PacWest conference win in their last seven games.

DEPLETED LINEUP KEEPS PACE EARLY

The Eagles, playing their second game in three days and missing injured redshirt freshman forward Isaiah Jones from their starting five, came out of the gates strong and traded early leads with Dominican. However, the Penguins responded to a layup from freshman forward Michael Bagatourian at the 7:13 mark with a 9-1 run to give themselves a 5-point lead. The Eagles kept it close but could not completely erase their deficit by halftime, heading into the locker room down by four.

Junior forward Alex Talma continued his late-season excellence with a 10-point, five-rebound first half, making him the Eagles’ leading scorer at halftime. Freshman guard Zach Roetcisoender, getting the start in place of Jones, contributed five points on 2-4 shooting from the field.

BAGATOURIAN, TALMA LEAD RALLY

Junior guard Trevor Treinen singlehandedly kept the Eagles in the game during the opening minutes of the second half, scoring Biola’s first seven points after halftime. By the half’s first media timeout, however, the Penguins had stretched their lead to six. Biola finally clawed back in the ensuing minutes, however, getting three-pointers from Treinen and senior guard Blake Shannon Jr. and tying the game on a long two from Shannon Jr. with six minutes left. Dominican responded with a three-pointer on the other end, but the Eagles rattled off a 7-0 run to take the lead, capped off by another three from Shannon Jr.

The Penguins fought back, however, retaking the lead by one on a layup with just under a minute left. Freshman forward Michael Bagatourian was fouled on the Eagles’ next possession and nailed both free throws with the game essentially on the line. From there, Talma again came through in a clutch situation, as he grabbed two big defensive rebounds off Dominican misses and made two free throws of his own to extend the Eagles’ lead and seal the game.

Talma finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds, marking the third straight Eagles victory in which he had a double-double. Treinen finished with a team-high 23 points and Bagatourian put up 12, while Shannon Jr. finished with nine points, five boards and three assists.

The Eagles (11-14, 5-12 in conference) will try to keep their late-season surge going against Point Loma Nazarene University at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 15.

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