The PLNU men’s and women’s basketball teams hosted Hawaii Pacific University on Jan. 13 with special guest, ESPN3. Both games were broadcasted live as part of the NCAA Division II Basketball Showcase as the Sea Lions faced one of the top teams in the PacWest Conference.
In this rematch of last year’s conference championships, the men’s team managed an impressive 87-65 win against the Sharks. Junior Preston Beverly led the game with 26 points while sophomore Sterling Somers followed closely behind with 17 points overall. Junior Ziggy Satterthwaite also left it all on the court, adding 15 points along with his second double-double.
“It was definitely a great atmosphere, I feel like it gave the team a lot of energy,” said Beverly when asked about having ESPN on the sidelines. “The guys were poised and didn’t get rattled, instead we just buckled down on both ends of the floor and it seemed to give us a boost.”
Team member senior Stephanie Williams agreed, adding, “It’s just a great opportunity and it means a lot that they think we’re good enough to be featured on such an important platform, it’s definitely a great feeling.”
Unfortunately, after a tight first quarter and notable performances by senior Roya Rustamzada and freshmen Cara Liggins and Grace Brady, it wasn’t enough to overcome the Sharks who ultimately defeated the Sea Lions 70-48.
“We’ve had a lot of adversity, but one of the biggest things we’ve been working on is just effort… leaving it all out there and controlling the things we can control. We’re just going to learn from this and continue to play hard and do better next time,” said freshman Sydney Peterson.
The women’s team now stands at 5-7 in the conference, following a much-needed win at Concordia and a tough fall to Azusa Pacific. The team will need as many victories as they can get in the following weeks in order to stay in the running for the conference tournament. The upcoming matchup at Chaminade will take place this Thursday.
After a 57-55 loss to APU, the men’s team dropped to fifth place in the PacWest conference. The tight game ended with a last-second shot by the Cougars, securing their place as conference leaders. Up next, the Sea Lions will face off against the Chaminade Silverswords this Thursday.