Midseason success fuels PacWest matchups

The men’s and women’s basketball teams at California Baptist University are in the midst of another breakthrough season with stellar records, adding more anticipation for the postseason.

The men’s basketball team is currently 15-3 with a 6-2 PacWest conference record. The women’s basketball team is at a 15-1 record with a 7-1 PacWest conference record.

Jarrod Olson, head coach of the women’s basketball team, said he feels the current progress of his team is going well.

“We have a lot of players coming back and there are some areas we need to improve on,” Olson said. “We need to play more defensively, but I feel good about the girls’ spirit and work ethic.”

The women’s basketball team recently won a conference match-up against Azusa Pacific University Jan. 16, with a close final score of 63-62. Outstanding efforts were made by Cassidy Mihalko; junior business administration major and guard; Kamille Diaz, junior sociology major and guard; Courtney Nelson, junior undeclared major and guard and Erin Asher, junior kinesiology major and guard.

“I’m pretty happy and getting it done on the court,” Mihalko said. “Our main goals are to play hard, be organized and improve.”

While the women’s basketball team is practicing to get back in the postseason, the men’s basketball team is working to improve their chances of being successful in this season.

Rick Croy, head coach of the men’s basketball team, said he feels the team is getting better individually and collectively.

“We have a great group of seniors that look forward to keeping on playing in March,” Croy said. “We also have incoming freshmen that are having big opportunities to compete.”

In an intense matchup with Azusa Pacific University Jan. 16, the men’s basketball team played hard, but suffered a loss with the final score of 73-71. Significant contributions were made by Michael Smith, junior business administration major and guard; Gelaun Wheelwright, senior sociology major and guard; Jordan Giusti, senior kinesiology major and guard, and Taj Spencer, senior communications major and forward.

“We have to work really hard and hone our experience,” Giusti said. “A lot of the older guys are staring to lead the younger guys and the younger guys are starting to become leaders themselves.”

With plenty of basketball ahead, both teams will look to command the court  and claim the PacWest title. Both teams will play Brigham-Young University, Hawaii, at home Jan. 23.

About Jeff Kissel

Sports Editor

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