The men’s basketball team is off to a strong start through eight games, going 6–2. One of the craziest games of the year so far was an overtime victory over the undefeated UCSD Tritons at the Golden Gymnasium. While it started out as a flat game for the Sea Lions, they never gave up, and thanks to junior forward Sterling Somers’ buzzer-beater to send the game to overtime, the team went on to defeat UCSD 75–73.
“We would’ve hoped to have won every single game,” said Coach Ryan Looney. “But more importantly, I think that we’ve definitely tested ourselves to get ourselves ready for conference play.”
One of the new stars of the team, junior forward Daulton Hommes, has been on a tear to start the early season. He’s averaging 21.8 points per game through the first eight and has multiple 30-point games mixed in with that average. Getting Hommes as a transfer here at PLNU has been a great offensive addition for a team who kept its main core intact from last season.
Looney and Hommes have a past history dating back to Looney’s days coaching at Seattle Pacific. “He and his father had interest in Seattle Pacific when I coached there,” said Looney. “The truth was, we didn’t have a roster spot open nor any scholarship money [for him].” Hommes, who missed both of his junior and senior basketball seasons in high school with ACL injuries, ended up attending Western Washington near his hometown for two seasons. But then a change of heart reunited the two once again, this time, at PLNU.
“[Daulton] was interested in doing something different, so [he] reached out to me again a second time, this time at Point Loma,” said Looney. “Obviously, we were smart enough to take him this time.”
With the season still early, Hommes and the team still have a long way to go. Hommes has already earned the respect of his teammates in his short PLNU basketball career.
“His teammates voted him one of our captains,” said Looney. “So they obviously already respect him this early, so the transition has been fine.”
The team has been battle-tested to this point, playing teams such as UCSD and St. Martins. These two games, a tough loss against St. Martins and an incredible victory over UCSD, can be used as a measuring stick for the rest of the long season ahead through the very competitive PacWest Conference. They opened up conference play in the Bay Area at the Academy of Art on Thursday night, winning 54-51. In their next game in Northern California against Dominican, they put on a dominant performance, winning 90–65. Their next home game in the Golden Gymnasium is Wednesday night against Biola at 7:30 P.M.