Men’s basketball gets huge win for postseason hopes

The Eagles, without star point guard, beat Hawaii Pacific University, 69-55.

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Grace Jordan // THE CHIMES

Junior guard Chris Rossow gets ready to dribble around his opponents.

Zachary Devane, Deputy Sports Editor

Men’s basketball got a hard-fought win over Hawaii Pacific University on Saturday, Feb. 15. The Eagles now sit in fifth place in the PacWest conference, one win ahead of the No. 6-placed Hawaii Hilo. Sophomore guard Alex Wright led the team with 18 points and six rebounds, while junior forward Michael Bagatourian had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

GRIND IT OUT

The Eagles, without senior starting point guard Marquise Mosley, got contributions from all involved against the Sharks. Four of the five starters finished in double-digit scoring, while sophomore center Solomon Ruddell added eight points and seven rebounds off the bench.

While BU only made one 3-pointer in the entire first half, the score was only tied at halftime. Then, a 13-0 run by the Eagles in the middle of the second half put them ahead 44-30. After that, the Sharks were unable to come back and the game finished 69-55.

“We did some good things in the first half, but we were 1-12 on threes, and when we got some momentum, we couldn’t sustain it,” said head coach Dave Holmquist. “In the second half I thought we were much more consistent, we started to make some baskets.”

The Eagles’ 40 points in the paint off 10 offensive rebounds was one of the main differences throughout the game. They also shot the ball extremely well in the second half, knocking down 51% of their shots and shooting 89% from the free-throw line.

FINISH STRONG

The Eagles moved up to the fifth spot in the PacWest standings with this win. The top six teams will make the conference tournament, and the team is finally eligible to compete after the transition period from NAIA. With only three games left in the regular season, things are looking up for the Eagles.

“Last two years we were ineligible—even though we were in the top six we couldn’t go,” Bagatourian said. “This was a big game to get one step into the playoffs and then if we take care of business these next three games, come away with good wins, we should be in good shape.”

The Eagles (10-9 PacWest, 14-11 overall) will next take on Holy Names University on Saturday, Feb. 22 at 2 p.m.