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Men’s basketball fails to keep pace

Eagles search for their first PacWest win continues after fourth straight loss.  |  Photo Courtesy of Biola Athletics [file]

 

Men’s basketball welcomed another PacWest opponent, the Concordia University Irvine Eagles, as the home team looked to avoid their ninth straight conference defeat to open PacWest play. Biola’s offense came out strong in the first half, leading 35-33 at halftime. However, the hosts struggled with injury and poor play in the second half, as streaky basketball caused their eventual downfall with a 75-61 loss.

BACK AND FORTH START

The first 10 minutes of the game saw both teams trade leads and Biola coming back from a seven point deficit to tie the game at 17 with 9:52 remaining in the half. More ominously for Biola’s season going forward, senior guard Blake Shannon Jr. and junior guard Levi Auble, both starters, exited early in the game with injuries and did not return. Auble returned to the bench in the second half in crutches.

For the last 10 minutes of the first half the two Eagles squads again exchanged leads until junior guard Trevor Treinen made two free throws with 4.5 seconds remaining in the half to give Biola a 35-33 advantage at halftime.

INJURIES CATCH UP TO BIOLA

Shorthanded from injuries, Biola could not keep up with Concordia’s hot shooting and fell behind 57-44 after a 10-0 run by the visitors just five minutes into the second half. Concordia held the hosts off until a 7-0 run spurred by Treinen pulled the score back to 65-59 with 3:50 left. The hope proved short-lived as Concordia scored the next 10 points and handed Biola another tough conference loss.

Treinen led Biola in scoring with 15 points in 36 minutes, closely followed by freshman forward Michael Bagatourian who notched 14. Freshman forward Isaiah Jones fell just short of his third straight double double as he scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds off of the bench. Playing heavy minutes in the wake of Auble’s injury, junior guard Christian Carroll scored 11 points, going 3-5 from behind the arc.

Even though they shot at a higher percentage than Concordia, Biola made 10 less shots than the visitors. Biola struggled mightily in the turnover battle, since they turned the ball over 19 times to Concordia’s five. Biola’s respectable 33 percent three-point shooting could not match their opponent’s 39 percent, as Concordia manufactured and knocked down many open three-point shots.

The Eagles fall to 6-11 on the season (0-9 in the PacWest). Their search for the school’s first NCAA Division II conference win continues on Jan. 20 when they host Hawaii Pacific University at Chase Gymnasium at 7:30 p.m.

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