Season tips off in exciting fashion

Women’s basketball takes heartbreaking loss in season opener, but bounces back for decisive win.

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Caroline Sommers/ THE CHIMES

Dale Fredriks, Writer

After waiting their turn for three months, the women’s basketball season has finally begun. In their first game of the season on Oct. 29, the California State University Dominguez Hills Toros dealt the Eagles a painful one-point loss. Then, on Nov. 2, they earned their first win over the Bethesda University Flames.

White takes charge

This season heralds the return of senior guard Annie Park, who redshirted last year due to injury, as well as junior guard DeMoria White, who led Biola with a 16.3 points per game average for the previous season.

Both guards had an excellent game in the season opener, as White ended with 15 points and three assists while Park had 14 points and two assists. Freshman guard Tatum Brimley impressed in her Eagles debut as well, putting up 15 points.

After leading by one point at halftime, the Toros had a strong third quarter, outscoring Biola 19-5. Biola made a huge comeback in the fourth quarter, culminating in the final 13 seconds of action.

The Toros made a free throw to go up by six points, then Park made a three pointer with eight seconds left on the clock. On the ensuing inbounds play from Dominguez Hills, White stole the ball and attempted a three-pointer, but took a hard foul while shooting, earning her three free-throws and the opportunity to tie the game.

She drained her first two shots, but unfortunately fell just short on the final shot, and the Toros rebounded the ball as time expired and the score read 69-68 in Dominguez Hills’ favor.

“That game could have gone either way in the end, and that is saying a lot,” said head coach Alan Nakamura. “Because again, they are a physical, athletic [NCAA] Division II team that shot the ball really well.”

Controlling the Pace

In the game against Bethesda on Nov. 2, White had the opportunity to avenge herself, which she did in emphatic fashion. She led all scorers with 25 points, 20 of which came in the first half. On the flip side, Park had a rare off-night, going 0-9 from the field for zero points. She did contribute four assists, which tied with Brimley for a team-high.

Biola controlled the pace of the game all night, taking a 41-18 lead into the locker room at halftime, and only expanded the lead as the night went on. They led at one point in the third quarter by 33, and went on to a commanding 79-52 win.

Senior forward Joclyn Kirton, who scored a double-double on opening night against the Toros with 12 points and 11 rebounds, nearly repeated the feat as she scored eight points and grabbed 11 rebounds against the Flames.

“I am encouraged. I love the team,” Nakamura said. “They are really coachable, really humble, and they really stick together.”

The Eagles have their third game on Nov. 5 at 7 p.m., as the La Sierra University Golden Eagles come to Chase Gymnasium.

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