Biola dominates their way into second round

Biola men’s basketball reign superior in a 30-point win over the Faulkner Eagles.




Kyle Kohner, Writer

The dynamic backcourt duo of junior Dakari Archer and senior Terrell Funches collaborated for an astounding 49 points, leading the Eagles’ offense to an explosive first-round NAIA National Championship victory.

Archer and Funches take over

The tables were turned in the opening minutes of the game. The Eagles, who usually pull ahead early in games, got off to a slow start 4-9. Biola continued to trail through most of the half until the 5:58 to go mark. That was when Archer’s jumper gave the Eagles their first lead of the game. Once Faulkner University relinquished their lead it became an up-hill climb for them. Archer’s three-pointer with 28 seconds left in the first half gave Biola a 38-26 lead at halftime.

The Eagles made up for their sluggish opening minutes of the game as they pulled ahead by 20 within the first five minutes of second half play. The Eagles did not look back and dominated the rest of the way. Archer and Funches took over the game with the duo combining for more than 50 percent of the team's points the entire game.

Archer finished the game with an impressive stat line, scoring 23 points, grabbing six rebounds and shooting 5-8 beyond the arc. This was Archer’s third straight game with at least 20 points.

Funches’ stat line was even more impressive. A dominating second half catapulted him to 26 points and fell two boards shy of a double-double with eight rebounds. The relentless, sharp-shooting guard was strong from three as well, draining 3-4 from downtown.

Domination in the paint

The superb guard duo would not have had as many scoring opportunities in transition without the prevailing defense in the paint. Biola out-rebounded Faulkner 44-18. Thirty-six of those boards were defensive. The Eagles also out-blocked their opponents 2-0 and had more points in the paint than their counterparts, 32-14. Funches and junior forwards Ryan Swain and Jeff Gonzalez were key components to the dominating play in the paint with each having eight rebounds.

“Rebounding was a huge for us and the reason the margin of victory was so big,” Gonzalez said. “We're just a tough team and we showed that we wanted the ball more than they did.”

Up next

Biola faces a challenging test facing them Friday in the second round against M.A. Christian University.

“Mid-America Christian University, likes a fast tempo, high scoring style of play,” Gonzalez said. “If we can keep the score low, we'll be in control.”

The number one seed Biola Eagles’ next opponent is against the number four seed M.A. Christian University on Friday, March 18 at 8:45 a.m.

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