They struggled against two of the top teams in the PACWEST (Pacific Western Athletic Conference), yet the Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) Eagles remain in the chase for a playoff position.
The men’s basketball team dropped two home games at the KPU Surrey campus over the weekend, falling 114-66 to the 9-2 (won-lost) Langara Falcons Thursday night and 98-62 to the fourth-place Dougas College Royals Friday.
“We need to make sure that in the future we follow through with what we talk about in the locker room,” said head coach Vladimir Nikic. “In order to be successful we need to be more disciplined on defense and we need to be more mentally tough.”
Kwantlen is just 2-9 on the season, and in seventh place, are just one position out of a playoff spot behind the Camosun Chargers and the Capilano Blues.
Against the defending national champions on Thursday, the Eagles couldn’t keep pace. The Falcons led 32-13 after one quarter and 57-34 at halftime.
Matt Cooley of Delta had a huge game in a losing cause, scored 31 points and added 15 rebounds before fouling out late in the game.
Jaiten Rana, also of Delta, added 19 points.
KPU was plagued by another slow start Friday, and fell behind 26-8 after 10 minutes of play and 44-17 at halftime. Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary graduate Nick Smith topped Eagles scorers with 12 points. The six-foot-three forward added seven rebounds, two assists and a pair of steals.
The Eagles will face a tough opponent Friday night, hosting the 10-1 Vancouver Island Mariners of Nanaimo at 8 p.m. in Surrey. the Mariners are tied for the league lead with the Quest Kermodes.
KPU will also host Camosun of Victoria Saturday at 3 p.m. The Chargers are tied for fifth place, just one game ahead of Kwantlen at 3-8.