Tough wins over tough opponents

Men’s basketball remains undefeated after quality wins over Chico State and CSU San Marcos.

Dale Fredriks, Writer

For a team that averaged 88.5 points per game this season, this weekend for Biola’s men’s basketball team may have seemed somewhat boring, as they averaged 62 points over the two games they played. However, both games proved immensely exciting, as the Eagles took a 65-61 win over the California State University San Marcos Cougars on Nov. 11 followed by a tight 59-58 win over the California State University Chico Wildcats on Nov. 12. These wins keep the Eagles’ record perfect, as they sit at an undefeated 6-0.  

The game against the Cougars started off rough, as the Eagles ended the first half with an uninspiring 29.2 field goal percentage. Despite CSU San Marcos shooting 40.9 percent in the same time, Biola went into halftime only trailing by a score of 26-21.

In the second half, the Eagles improved drastically, raising their field goal percentage to 60.9 and going 13-17 from the free throw line. They more than doubled their point total from the first half, putting up 44 points in the second half. San Marcos refused to be intimidated and kept the score close the entire way, culminating in a two-point Biola lead with eight seconds to go on the clock. Senior guard Dakari Archer made two free throws to put the nail in the coffin, and a missed three-pointer from the Cougars sealed the result.

Archer not only had the last points of the game, but also had nearly 57 percent of Biola’s total points. The fourth-year starter lit up the floor all night, finishing with a new career-high of 37 points. He went 11 of 18 from the floor, including four threes, and added 11 free throws. The next closest Biola scorer, senior forward Jeff Gonzalez, finished the night with eight points.

Biola took the court the following day to face the Wildcats, and what ensued proved the most dramatic game for the men so far this season. Biola fell behind about halfway through the first half, taking a seven-point deficit into the break as Chico State led 33-26. Archer, in sharp contrast to his lights-out shooting the previous day, made only one of his six first half shots for two points. Gonzalez led all scorers with eight points at the half.

Scoring started slowly in the second half, as Biola did not take the lead until 8:51 into the half. They held the lead from then on out, leading by 11 points with 4:39 remaining on the clock. Chico closed the gap to two points with 14 seconds left then Gonzalez missed two free throws then fouled a Wildcat player who missed his first free throw but made the second. That allowed Biola to inbound the ball as time expired, giving them the intense 59-58 win.  

Gonzalez had the best night for Biola, putting up 20 points, followed by 11 points from senior forward Ryan Swain. Archer finished with eight points in an uncharacteristic performance from last year’s Golden State Athletic Conference Player of the Year.

Biola travels to Claremont, Calif. on Nov. 16 to face the Pomona-Pitzer College Sagehens at 7:30 p.m. in yet another out-of-conference matchup.

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