The end of season came too soon for the women’s basketball team on March 4. The Eagles dropped to The Master’s College 53-38 in the opening round of the Golden State Athletic Conference tournament to dash their chances of making it to the NAIA National Championship tournament.
Despite a disappointing end to the season, this marks the first season for the women that ends in a winning record since the 2011-2012 season. The Eagles’ final overall record sits at 16-15 and 8-8 in conference play.
“It was great to have a winning season this year, since we had such a great season when I was a freshman,” said senior forward Chelsea Hill. “I think starting off strong this year really helped us and gave us a lot of momentum so when we did get in those ditches of losing, we knew we could get out of it.”
The Eagles struggled in shooting against the Mustangs throughout the entire game. Both teams got off to a slow start in the first half, with the Eagles only hitting 19 percent of their field goal shots and the Mustangs shooting 29 percent. The first half ended with the Mustangs leading the Eagles 21-12.
Although the Eagles improved their shooting score to 41 percent, it was not enough to skip the scale in their favor. Biola struggled with turnovers, giving the Mustangs 28 total points off of turnovers. The Master’s also had help from their bench, racking in 20 points from the non-starters. Only two players from Biola made it to double-digit shooting. Sophomore guard Khadidja Diakite was the leading scorer with 11 points, and Hill finished her final game of her career with 10 points.
The Eagles’ season ended with a 38-53 loss and a fifth place ranking in GSAC. Biola had been picked to finish the season sixth in conference play.
“We finished fifth in GSAC, but obviously we got one spot higher than we were predicted to end,” said Hill. “We surprised a lot of teams. We almost beat Westmont, we came back and beat Vanguard, who ended up being second place, and we barely lost to Concordia. They didn’t give enough credit, and we definitely showed that we were here to play.”
Biola is losing three seniors to graduation this year. Hill, fellow forward Elizabeth Munger and guard Desiree Robinson. However, they still have powerhouse guard Annie Park, who leads the team in points with 332 total points and 11.4 points per game.