Both men’s and women’s basketball fall to Azusa Pacific

Rival school gets the best of Biola.


Courtesy of Biola Athletics

Sophomore guard Daniel Esparza jukes around the Azusa defender.

Ryan Wingert, Staff Writer

Biola visited Azusa Pacific with a lot of momentum as both clubs were coming off of dominant wins against Hawaii Hilo on the road. There were high hopes that the Eagles would take this momentum into their rival’s house, but the Cougars came out triumphant in the end. The men’s game was a very firm victory for Azusa Pacific as Biola fell 87-69. The women’s game was much closer, but the Eagles still ended up losing 73-69. 


Despite losing by 18, the men stayed close for the first half. At halftime, the Eagles saw themselves only in a very manageable six-point hole. Biola outshot the Cougars from behind the arc at 45% to 36%. They also grabbed three more rebounds than their rival. The game, however, was decided by the turnover battle, as Biola turned the ball over 16 times to Azusa Pacific’s mere six times. The Cougars’ 11 steals allowed them to turn a six-point halftime lead into an 18-point victory by the end. 

Sophomore guard Daniel Esparza led the Eagles in scoring with 24 points while redshirt senior guard Alex Wright had the best all-around game for Biola. He led the team with six assists and grabbed the second most rebounds at five to go along with his nine points. Wright also showed his ability on the defensive side of the floor, adding two steals to his name. 


The women’s team started off slow in the first quarter as the Cougars outscored them 24-12. Biola went on to outscore the Cougars in each of the following quarters to tighten the margin between the two teams. The Eagles’ strong effort was ultimately not enough to overcome the early 12-point deficit, as they fell to the Cougars by four points. 

Redshirt sophomore guard Laila Walker had an impressive game, scoring 21 of her team’s 69 points on an incredibly efficient 8-13 shooting night. She also knocked down 3 three-pointers and assisted four scoring plays. 

Up next, Biola looks to get back on track as both teams take on Chaminade University on Friday, Jan. 27. Stats from the match can be found on the Biola Athletics website.

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