Men’s basketball loses nail-biter at Fresno Pacific

Eagles fight hard but lose close battle on the road.

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Men’s basketball loses nail-biter at Fresno Pacific

Photo by Marlena Lang/ THE CHIMES

Photo by Marlena Lang/ THE CHIMES

Photo by Marlena Lang/ THE CHIMES

Joey Mistretta, Freelance Writer

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Men’s basketball headed north to take on Fresno Pacific University on Thursday. The Eagles came into the game sixth in the PacWest, three spots ahead of conference rival FPU, which sat at ninth overall. This was an important game for Biola as they could reach a 9-8 record. Biola took the Sunbirds all the way down to the wire, but they failed to close the game out yet again, falling 61-57.  

Biola started slow and fell behind early. However, senior forward Levi Auble came out of the gates strong, making four of his first six shots for eight points, helping Biola catch up to 30-25 at the half. Fresno held the lead, however, in large part due to the hot shooting from the Sunbirds. The Eagles went to the locker room at halftime having to make necessary adjustments to slow down Fresno.

Biola came out strong in the early part of the second half, quickly tying the game. Both teams were swapping the lead, and with 5:00 left in the game, Biola finally gained some separation and boasted a six-point lead. However, Fresno would not quit, and tied the game with one minute left. FPU then scored a layup to put them up by two with 24 seconds remaining. The Eagles called a timeout and drew up a play which resulted in a missed jumper and a rebound for Fresno, which then went on to win the game by a final score of 61-57.

Bright spots for Biola were senior Alex Talma and freshman Alex Wright. Talma finished with a game-leading eight rebounds and also added 11 points while Wright led the Eagles with 15 points and four assists. Auble also contributed 14 points.

The Eagles (12-11, 8-9 PacWest) return home to host Hawaii Hilo University on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.

Joel Ashor contributed to this story.