PLNU Men’s Basketball Continues Dominant Season in Rout of Chaminade

Third-year forward Luke Haupt shooting a three. Photo credit to Evan Olbricht.

Heading into their conference matchup against Chaminade University of Honolulu on Feb. 25, the Point Loma Nazarene University men’s basketball team was undefeated in conference with an impressive 13-0 record (18-3 overall). That streak didn’t end on Wednesday night, as they improved that record to 14-0.

PLNU came out firing against Chaminade as three of their first four buckets were 3-pointers from Tobin Karlberg, Shamrock Campbell and Brian Goracke. That was just the beginning of a long night for Chaminade. By the time the first timeout was called with 15:36 left in the half, PLNU was already up 15-6 on CUH. Fourth-year guard Karlberg got off to a hot start as he quickly racked up nine points on four shots and kick-started an exciting first half for the Sea Lions filled with great shooting beyond the arc. 

The first half was highlighted with multiple shooting stints. Third-year forward Luke Haupt hit back-to-back threes to put PLNU up 29-6, followed by a run where the team scored 18 consecutive points on 3-pointers, including three more from third-year guard Goracke. 

PLNU didn’t take their foot off the gas for the rest of the game. By the end of the first half, the game was all but over as PLNU was leading 56-28 and had full control of the game. That energy carried into the second half as many of the bench players played extended minutes and made the most of the time they had on the court. All five starters finished in double figures, but so did freshmen Jake Lifgren and Andrew Hommes, whose game was highlighted by a breakaway dunk that hyped up the student section. Twelve different PLNU players recorded points, speaking volumes to the depth that this roster possesses. 

The game ended with PLNU winning 107-61. The team shot well (55.6% from the field and 45% from three) but also showed their team chemistry while doing so. They spread the floor well, passed well (27 assists) and shot the lights out of the ball.  

A game like this can be beneficial, especially as teams get closer to playoff time. This game allowed Coach Matt Logie to get everyone on the court, gave some guys on the team more rest and improved the trust the team already has with each other. A sign of a great team is one that trusts each other in big moments; with this team, the chemistry is apparent. And games where everyone gets involved and contributes is likely to continue to build that trust and give certain players confidence boosts. Confidence is key when it comes to big games, and games in which nearly everyone gets on the board are certain to lead to confidence. 

Coach Logie has personnel decisions to make as the team gets closer to the most important games of the season. The team has its core that it’s centered around, but Coach Logie has many solid options coming off the bench. 

Lifgren and Hommes both had impressive performances, both finishing with 10 points on the bench and shooting 50% or better from the field. Second-year forward Pierce Davis brings great length, rim protection and rebounding as he notched himself a few blocks and grabbed six boards to add to his productive night. And while Wes Slajchert’s numbers don’t jump off the page, he made his one field goal attempt and grabbed five rebounds in 15 minutes of playing time. This team showcased its efficiency and depth in a staple win in a conference game to improve to 14-0. 

The Sea Lions’ next game is on Wednesday, February 8,  at Golden Gymnasium at 7:30 p.m. against one of their biggest rivals, Biola University. 

Written By: Cade Michaelson