Men’s basketball looks forward to season full of new players and familiar coaching

Men’s basketball begins their season with a win against the Fresno Pacific University Sunburds 73-69.

Junior+Pierre+Zook+passes+to+a+teammate+during+the+blackout+game+against+Masters+College+on+Feb.+15.+Mens+basketball+experienced+losses+to+Masters+and+Hope+International.+%7C+Natalie+Lockard%2FTHE+CHIMES

Junior Pierre Zook passes to a teammate during the blackout game against Master’s College on Feb. 15. Men’s basketball experienced losses to Master’s and Hope International. | Natalie Lockard/THE CHIMES

Dale Fredriks, Writer

The season officially began for the men’s basketball team and in good fashion. They played the Fresno Pacific University Sunbirds on Friday, barely getting the 73-69 win in an overtime thriller. Sophomore guard Dakari Asher came up big for the Eagles, scoring 26 points, 18 of which were free throws. Freshman forward Steve Herve also contributed with 13 points and 13 rebounds, as well as a dunk in the final three seconds of the game.

Both teams hit the ground running, trying to size up the other team. FPU got on the board first with a set of free throws and a jumper, but senior forward Mike Kurtz responded with the first points of the season for Biola. He finished the game with seven points and the other senior starter on the squad, guard Pierre Zook, ended the night with 12 points.

The score stayed close for the entirety of the game, the largest lead either team achieved was nine points, accomplished by Biola in the first few minutes of the second half. The Eagles went into halftime leading by seven but were outscored by FPU in the second half to tie the score at 64, forcing the game into overtime. Zook had a chance to break the tie at the end of regulation, but was not able to make a three-pointer.

In overtime, Herve was the star, scoring five points, including the putback dunk in the closing seconds of the game. Archer and Kurtz contributed two points each, giving Biola the 73-69 victory.

Kurtz liked what he saw from the team in the opener.

“One strength we saw from the win was team comradery,” said Kurtz. “From the guys playing, to the last guy on the bench, we were cheering each other on until the last buzzer.”

He recognized areas for improvement, partially due to the team’s considerable youth. The roster consists of 16 players — nine freshmen, two sophomores, two juniors and three seniors.

“I think we need to improve our chemistry and pushing leads open when we get some daylight,” said Kurtz.

Filling the head coaching spot for the team this year is a very familiar face to Biola basketball fans, Dave Holmquist. Holmquist enters his 35th season as head coach of the men’s basketball team looking to move up the list of four-year college coaches with the most wins. He currently sits in 15th on that list, among coaching greats such as Mike Krzyzewski, Bob Knight, and Jim Calhoun. Holmquist started his coaching career at Fresno Pacific in 1974 immediately after graduating from Biola. He coached there for three seasons, then returned to his alma mater and has remained here ever since.

The team holds simple goals for the season.

“Win GSAC and make the National Tournament,” said Asher.

The Eagles’ next game is at La Sierra University on Nov. 6 at 7:30 pm.  

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