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Women’s basketball rallies to defeat Chaminade

Biola rallies from slow start to takes home the win with a strong second half.  |  Chak Hee Lo / THE CHIMES

 

Women’s basketball hosted Chaminade University of Honolulu on Feb. 17.  The Eagles started slow and Chaminade capitalized to break out into an early lead. In the fourth quarter, however, the Eagles retook the lead after trailing for the entire game, defeating Chaminade 66-61.

Sluggish Start

The game opened with an early tie at six points apiece. However, Chaminade’s offense picked up and built a 15-6 lead with two minutes to go in the first. A pair of free-throws from sophomore forward Mikayla Greens cut the lead down to seven, but the Eagles went scoreless in the last two minutes of the quarter while Chaminade made three baskets in a row to extend their lead to 22-8 by the end of the first.  

“We are trying to get to championship level basketball,” said head coach Alan Nakamura.  “That all starts with defensive energy, competing for rebounds and loose balls and having poise on offense. We struggled in all three areas in the first quarter.”

Senior guard Demoria White hit a three-pointer to open up the scoring in the second. An offensive rebound and close-range jumper by freshman forward Jazz Benn and a steal and layup by White cut the lead to 24-15. Fouls and turnovers from the Eagles allowed Chaminade to hold a 31-21 lead despite triples from sophomore guards Brenna Khaw and Tatum Brimley. CUH’s 7-7 first half free throw shooting also helped them stay in front, as they headed into halftime up 38-27.  

Kennedy and Benn Spark Comeback

The third quarter started with a quick three-pointer from junior guard Danielle Kennedy and another from Benn to narrow the lead down to eight.  Another triple from Kennedy reduced CUH’s lead to 41-38, the smallest margin since early in the first. Chaminade responded with seven unanswered points, but a layup inside for Benn and a steal leading to a three from Kennedy brought the game back to within three. Kennedy and Benn led the way for Biola in the third, scoring 16 of the team’s 19 points. Brimley scored the last three points for the Eagles in the quarter to put the score at 48-46 in favor of Chaminade.  

“We struggled in the first half,” Kennedy said. “[In the] second half we came together by remembering our fundamentals, running our plays and trusting our teammates.”  

Chaminade started the fourth with a 5-0 run while Biola struggled to hit shots. White knocked down a triple to begin the Eagles’ fourth-quarter scoring about five minutes into the period. A triple from Benn cut the CUH lead further down to 52-54. Nakamura called for a full-court press, and the defensive effort led to a triple in the corner for White to give the Eagles a 55-54 lead.  Free-throws from Benn and a floater from White gave Biola a 59-56 lead with one minute left in the game. A missed shot by CUH forced them to intentionally foul Kennedy, who knocked down both free throws. Biola’s defense forced another turnover, which led to two free throws for White, solidifying the team’s 66-61 victory.  

Led by a game-high 24 points from White and a near double-double for Benn, who had nine rebounds and 14 points, the Eagles improved to 13-12 on the season and 10-9 in the PacWest.  They will take on their last regular season opponent, Dixie State University, at home on Feb. 22.

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