Illustration by Chak Hee Lo / THE CHIMES
The Eagles had to come back down to earth after their thrilling 73-70 Cornerstone Cup win over Azusa Pacific University on Feb. 3 when they hosted Holy Names University on Feb. 5 in a PacWest showdown. Both teams played each other evenly for the majority of the game, staying within five points of the lead until 6:17 to go in the second half. The Eagles closed down the Hawks on defense and hit their shots on the other end to finish the game on a 21-4 run and comfortably close out the victory.
BOTH TEAMS MATCH EACH OTHER
Neither team let the other get more than two possessions ahead in the first half. The teams finished the half trading the lead on three straight possessions, which resulted in the Hawks grabbing a 37-36 lead heading into the break. Despite this, junior guard Trevor Treinen had gotten back into a rhythm after being shut down by APU, scoring 11 points in the first 20 minutes of this game. Strong performances by freshman forward Isaiah Jones, junior forward Alex Talma and good bench support also helped the Eagles keep pace with the Hawks.
The first 10 minutes of the second half proved a carbon copy of the first half. The Eagles quickly erased the halftime gap thanks to senior guard Blake Shannon Jr.’s two quick three-pointers—his first points of the game. With 8:22 remaining, Holy Names made a layup to pull within three of Biola, but the Eagles locked down the Hawks on defense, only allowing four more points the entire game. Talma and freshman forward Michael Bagatourian took over, scoring Biola’s final 21 points, including a Bagatourian dunk and back to back threes from Talma to finish the Eagles’ scoring spree.
“We started making some shots and they missed some,” said head coach Dave Holmquist. “It just came together the last five minutes of the game.”
TALMA HAS ANOTHER MONSTER NIGHT
Talma recorded his second straight double-double, leading the team in scoring and rebounds with 21 points and 12 boards, respectively. He also added on four assists, a block and a steal.
“[I’m] pretty confident [right now],” Talma said. “I didn’t really think about it, I just went out to play. [I] try to play defense and rebound and it just comes.”
Treinen added 18 more points in his bounce-back game, making 3 of 8 from behind the arc. Bagatourian scored 12 points, most of which came in the second half surge, and he proved key in shutting down the Hawks defense. Jones scored 10 points on 5-7 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds before leaving the game with an injury in the second half. Shannon Jr. could not match his effort against APU, but he did score nine points going 3-6 three point shooting and matched a season-high with 11 assists.
The win moves the Eagles to 10-13 on the season (4-11 in PacWest) and continues their hot streak of four wins in their last five. They face a formidable opponent in California Baptist University on Feb. 10 in the Eagles’ last road game of the season.