Eagles GSAC regular season champs

Eagles’ strong defense stifles Royals for the win.

Kyle Kohner, Writer

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For the first time since 2002, the Biola men’s basketball team claimed the GSAC championship last night in a 65-59 win against the Hope International Royals.

Biola got off to their usual quick start by going on a rampant 7-2 offensive run. The game began with a long three from junior forward Ryan Swain. The first half also included a full highlight reel of defensive gems, including two monstrous blocks by sophomore forward Steve Herve and junior guard Dakari Archer. However, the Eagles did allow the Royals to go on a 10-4 run at the end of the first half.

The second half began with the Eagles pulling away with a 12-6 run. The Biola defense would continue to keep the Royals’ offense at bay for the rest of the game. The defense would continue to dominate at the rim, as they had seven of their nine blocks in the half. The game would be too distant for the Royals and the Eagles won 65-59.

Saturday was also Senior night for three Eagles, including star guards Terrell Funches and Caelan Tiongson. It also marked the last time the two stars would play a regular season game at Chase Gymnasium. A senior transfer, Funches provided many moments of excitement, but his statline proved most impressive. Funchess chipped in 22 points and grabbed 6 boards on the night. Tiongson was phenomenal on the night as well. The 6’4’ guard/forward ended up the main source of energy for the Eagles as his relentless play sparked the homecrowd. Tiongson finished with 13 points, six rebounds and three second half blocks.

Biola finishes the season undefeated at home. The Eagles also finished with number one defense in the NAIA.

Biola’s next game will be March 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the Golden State Athletic Conference semi-finals against the winner of the Arizona Christian University and Westmont College match.