The PLNU men’s basketball team has been playing strong as of late, going 8-2 in their last 10 games. During this streak came a season sweep against conference rival Concordia, which is the first time the PLNU men’s basketball team has swept Concordia in a season since 2000-01.
Junior forward Preston Beverly was also named PacWest Player of the Week twice, leading the PacWest Conference in points, rebounds and blocks during the week of Jan. 8-14.
After a 6-5 start to the season, the boys have risen to the occasion. “I think we’re just hungry,” said senior forward Skylar White of the recent streak. “We’re already bought into what Coach Looney is trying to do and the system that he has.” White is averaging 6.9 points and 5.2 rebounds on the season thus far.
“We’re just being patient,” said senior guard Yusuf Shehata. “The cliché saying is ‘Trust The Process,’ but that’s really what it is. Now you see it in our record, and that’s all because we’re trusting each other, trusting the process, trusting the system, and just figuring out how to play together as a team.”
The men’s team also had a recent ESPN3 game on campus that was broadcasted live, in which they defeated Hawaii Pacific 87-65. They held Hawaii Pacific’s star player and recent San Diego State transfer Niksha Federico to only 13 points and five rebounds in the game, way below his season averages of 22.0 points and 10.6 rebounds.
The Sea Lions are currently 15-7 overall in the standings, and 8-4 within the PacWest Conference.
The PLNU women’s basketball team has been in a bit of a rut as of late, going 4-6 in their last 10 games.
There have been some bright spots, however, including a great performance from freshman guard Sydney Peterson, who dropped 30 points on Concordia in their 76-60 victory.
The women’s team still has time to turn it around and make a run toward the playoffs. “I think it just comes with time, because talent wise, we have the talent,” said junior guard Yuendie Guridi. “These girls are very talented. We have the chemistry and that bond off the court, and I think it’s just a matter of learning to play with each other as time goes on.”
Statistically, the Sea Lions are beating their opponents in almost every category, including points per game, field goal percentage, rebounding, and assists per game, so it’s a matter of learning to put everything together in a way that equates to victories.
“We dissect our games during film, and we see that we’ll need to work on our defense, or rebounding,” said senior forward Stephanie Williams. “In practice we’ll add more rebounding drills, or shooting drills, or free throws, so we do look at our film and apply it to our practice.”
The team also had an ESPN3 game against Hawaii Pacific at home, but lost 70-48. They are 10-9 overall in the standings, and 5-7 in the PacWest Conference.