Hope spoils women’s senior night

Women’s basketball team dropped to Hope in their last regular season home game.

Jack Finck, Writer

The women’s basketball team concluded their regular season on Feb. 27 with a loss to Hope International University. Biola beat the Royals in Fullerton by two points earlier in the season, but could not gain the upper hand in this matchup, losing by a final score of 51-61. This loss put Hope one spot ahead of the Eagles in the Golden State Athletic Conference, bumping the Eagles to fifth.  

Hope exploded out of the tip-off, scoring seven points before the Eagles got on the board. Senior guard Aubree Mittel eventually stopped this run by hitting a three off an assist by junior guard Tina Esbenshade. It proved not enough to stop the momentum though, as Hope closed out the first quarter with a 20-9 lead.  

The Royals did not slow down in the second quarter, and eventually extended their lead to 14 with a first half score of 35-21.  

Senior forward Taylor Casey led the team with 10 first half points and three rebounds. She was followed by sophomore guard Danielle Kennedy and Mittel who both had five points. Kennedy also had four rebounds and an assist.

Biola cut Hope’s lead down to five in the third quarter when the Eagles went on a 15-2 run, capitalized by a three from freshman forward Sara Dougan. The Royals answered by scoring four points before the end of the quarter, bringing their lead back up to 9.

The Eagles made another run at the lead in the fourth quarter, at one time bringing it as low as three. Hope was resilient however, and answered every one of Biola’s runs with a run of their own. Biola’s first quarter deficit proved too much to overcome as the Eagles lost 51-61.

Casey finished her last home game with 21 points and five rebounds. Kennedy followed with 10 points and seven rebounds, and Mittel also had seven rebounds accompanied with nine points and four assists.

Biola will get a rematch against the Royals in the first round of the GSAC Tournament on March 4. Hope will have an advantage being the host team, but the Eagles have beaten the Royals on the road earlier in the season.

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