Seniors go out on top

Men’s Basketball wins big on epic senior night.

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Seniors go out on top

Caroline Sommers/THE CHIMES

Caroline Sommers/THE CHIMES

Caroline Sommers/THE CHIMES

Caroline Sommers/THE CHIMES

Austin Green, Writer

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Biola ended its regular season in the best way possible — blowing out San Diego Christian College with a score of 74-56 in front of a huge and raucous home crowd at Chase Gymnasium to finish with a 26-4 overall record, 12-4 in conference.

Seniors Shine

In their final home game, the Eagles’ five seniors received their share of the spotlight. Guard Dakari Archer and forward Caelan Tiongson combined for 36 points, forwards Ryan Swain and Jeff Gonzalez dominated the paint and forward Connor Getting stole the show in the final minutes.

Archer exited the game with 1:20 left, allowing him to share a long, emotional hug with head coach Dave Holmquist while receiving a standing ovation.

“It shows that the fans care,” Archer said. “It was great.”

Tiongson was also overcome by the support they got from the crowd.

“It means a lot, man,” Tiongson said. “We put in a lot of hard work and just to see fans come out and support us and get excited for us means a lot.”

The Eagles shot horribly from the field to begin the game, but made up for it with a spectacular defensive effort. They took their first lead when junior forward Steve Herve hammered home a dunk to make the score 11-10 with just under 11 minutes to go in the first half. From there, the defense only improved, allowing just eight points for the rest of the half. Meanwhile, the Eagles focused on controlling the paint and built a 26-18 lead by halftime.

A commanding performance

The Eagles kept building on that lead in the second half, but it took a while for them to pull away. After a San Diego three-pointer cut the lead to 10 with 8:27 left, the seniors quickly took over. Swain nailed a triple and Tiongson hit a mid-range jumper. The Hawks responded with another three, but Archer hit one of his own to increase the lead to 15.

The commanding performance was huge for the Eagles following a disastrous road loss to Hope International University on Feb. 18.

“We felt like we got out-toughed and that’s not characteristic of us,” Tiongson said. “Getting a win right before we go into playoffs was huge. We don’t want to lose again for the rest of the year.”

In a night filled with great moments, none stood out more than when Getting entered with 1:38 remaining. The reaction to his entrance proved the second-loudest cheer of the night, topped only when he nailed a three-pointer for the final points of the game. When the final buzzer sounded, teammates and fans alike swarmed the popular senior.

The Eagles now turn their attention to the Golden State Athletic Conference tournament, which starts on March 2.