Women’s basketball defeats ACU, men unable to duplicate result

Women win, men lose in last home games of the season.

Junior+Conroy+Lester+goes+up+for+a+layup+during+the+last+home+game+of+the+season.+The+men+were+defeated+by+Arizona+Christian+with+a+final+score+of+60-64.+%7C+Natalie+Lockard%2FTHE+CHIMES

Junior Conroy Lester goes up for a layup during the last home game of the season. The men were defeated by Arizona Christian with a final score of 60-64. | Natalie Lockard/THE CHIMES

Laurie Bullock and Tyler Gunhus

Shonnell Hoyt, a freshman on the women's basketball team, takes control of the court during their final home game against Arizona Christian. | Natalie Lockard/THE CHIMES

 

On the 106th anniversary of the founding of Biola, students and alumni gathered in Chase Gymnasium as both men’s and women’s basketball took on Arizona Christian University in the regular season home finale.

Honoring seniors Adijat Adams, Cody Wittick and Andre Murillo, both teams put up valiant efforts but ultimately only the women were able to come out on top.

The ladies elevated their Golden State Athletic Conference record and were able to finish with a win 65-55.

The Eagles’ matchup zone defense worked well against the Firestorm. Biola had 16 points from turnovers. Biola took to the corners against Arizona Christian’s defense and established a 13 point lead within the first seven minutes of the game, 16-3.

Biola held on to the solid lead throughout the first half and finished with 16 points ahead 20-36.

The Eagles took their lead to 20 points five minutes into the second half by overwhelming the Firestorm with their full-court press defense.

Biola had trouble making the open shots, and Arizona Christian started making them. The Eagles went from shooting 33 percent from beyond the arc in the first half to zero percent. In the meantime, Arizona improved their shooting 33 percent from the arc to 54.

The Firestorm pushed through the deficit to make up a much closer game with only three minutes to play. Despite the Firestorm’s effort, Biola was able to finish the game with a win 65-55.

The Eagles are now 12-17 overall and 7-6 in conference play.

 

Junior Conroy Lester goes up for a layup during the last home game of the season. The men were defeated by Arizona Christian with a final score of 60-64. | Natalie Lockard/THE CHIMES

MEN LOSE IN THE HOME STRETCH

The men were not as successful as the women, however, falling to the Firestorm 64-60. 

The Eagles struggled to gain ground during the first half, going into halftime trailing 30-26. Sophomore forward Christian Misi came off the bench for the Eagles putting up eight points including a first half buzzer-beater to keep Biola close.

Biola came out of the locker room strong, drawing level with the Firestorm and ultimately taking a one point lead five minutes into the second half.

However, ACU was there to answer. The Firestorm hit three-pointer after three-pointer and refused to let Biola sustain a lead. Arizona’s Mason Jones was on fire from beyond the arc, hitting four threes and ultimately leading all scorers with 18 points.

ACU broke a 48-48 tie with six minutes remaining in the second half and never relinquished the lead. Freshman guard Dakari Archer hit a three in the final seconds to cut the lead to two, but the Firestorm hit two free throws to slam the door on the Eagles. Archer finished the game with 15 points to finish as Biola’s leading scorer.

Both teams will finish the regular season this Saturday as they head to Santa Barbara to take on Westmont College starting at 5:30 p.m.

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