California Baptist University has had a dominant basketball season so far as both the men’s and women’s teams have begun their spring semesters showing their competitors they can be a PacWest favorite.
For the men’s team, the No. 11-ranked Lancers knew what to expect as they had a tough opponent in Point Loma Nazarene University.
PLNU came on Jan. 17, with a respected 13-2 overall record and 6-2 in PacWest.
The game came down to the wire as the Lancers were up five points before Chris Brown, senior sociology major and guard, sank a three-pointer, giving the Lancers an eight-point lead with about four minutes left.
Leading scorer with 15 points, Gelaun Wheelwright, junior sociology major and guard, said Brown’s score was a pivotal point in the game.
“(Brown’s) three at the end of the shot-clock changed the momentum of the game, and then we just cracked them offensively and defensively,” Wheelwright said.
The final score ended 57-55 as the Lancers held on to become victorious, extending their winning streak to 10 games in a row.
Rick Croy, head coach of the men’s team, said the win was a big one.
“You’ve got to win on your home floor in this conference,” Croy said. “There’s too many good teams, and we’re going to have a couple more tough ones, and we just have to do what we did tonight, which was compete for 40 minutes.”
The women’s team is experiencing a strong season, too, as they came into their game against PLNU with a five-game winning streak. However, the game did not end as they hoped it would as the Lancers found themselves losing 34-20 at the halfway point.
The women gave a good effort and fought to prevent adding a loss to the record as they trailed by a 21-point gap. They continued to chip away at the deficit as they tried to get some rhythm.
The Lancers were led by Courtney Nelson, sophomore undeclared major and guard. She finished one point shy of her career high of 30 points. They fought back to within three points; however, the women fell just short of completing a miraculous second half comeback. The final score was 75-67.
Cassidy Mihalko, sophomore business administration major and guard, said there were differences between the two halves of play.
“Our fire and hunger to play and win changed between halves,” she said. “We didn’t come out ready and waited too long to get it together as a team.”