Men's basketball tops Gonzaga, has more to prove

By The Beacon | January 23, 2014 1:16am

By Cassie Sheridan |

Two weeks ago, the men’s basketball team (11-8) had a huge win over WCC rival Gonzaga. This win ended a 20-game losing streak against the Bulldogs and happened in front of nearly 5,000 fans. This made the Pilots a central conversation within the sports world and on social media. Despite the once in 11 years win, the season is far from over.

Last weekend on the road, the Pilots split games earning a win against Loyola Marymount and a loss to Pepperdine. In the WCC, the Pilots’ record is 3-4 with 11 more games to play.

“We are right in the mix,” junior center Riley Barker said. “We still have a lot of essential WCC games to play and win, if we want to command the conference. It’s still a little early to tell where we land.”

The Pilots’ schedule over the next month involves many hours on planes and away from home court advantage as they only have four home games left in the Chiles Center. Playing on the road demands an increased focus and energy, especially when going up against important WCC opponents.

“It’s hard to keep energy up on the road,” senior guard Korey Thieleke said. “We all are focused on keeping that energy high when away and not letting ourselves get down. It’s really nice to be at home and have our fans give us an energy boost but great teams play great anywhere.”

Tonight the Pilots go up against WCC rival BYU at 7 p.m. in the Chiles Center. Then on Saturday, they will play San Diego at 7 p.m. before spending the following three games on the road.