The men's basketball team was unable to steal a road victory in their final two contests of the 2016-17 season. La Sierra held leads in both contests but were unable to hang on to either as they lost to Benedictine-Mesa (90-74) and Embry-Riddle (84-69). The team closed out a disappointing campaign with a record of 2-26 overall (1-13 Cal Pac).
La Sierra jumped out early on the Red Hawks, in a game that consisted of five tie scores and eight lead changes. The Golden Eagles used an 16-8 run to take a 30-22 lead with 4:20 remaining in the first half of play. But a late first half run by the Red Hawks saw them recapture the lead and take a 48-43 advantage into the half. It was a lead they would not relinquish despite mini-runs put forth by the Golden Eagles.
Kyle Hamilton led the team with 20 points and four rebounds. Christian Jackson came off the bench to score 15 points and grab five re bounds, while Isaac Deese pitched in with 12 points, also off of the bench. Eduardo Gomez del Casal Rodriguez added a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. It was Rodriguez's ninth double-double of the season.
Saturday night, the team visited Embry-Riddle University where they wasted no time by taking a 16-7 lead at the 13:20 mark of the first half, but a late first half run by Embry-Riddle helped them catch the Golden Eagles at 26-26 and take a 38-31 lead into the half.
The Golden Eagles pulled to within 43-42 after Hamilton hit one of two free throws, with 14:52 remaining on the clock, but that proved to be as close as the Golden Eagles would get. The team struggled to take care of the ball throughout the game and finished with a total of 26 turnovers. They also struggled from the field as they converted just 21 fields goals on 58 attempts against the Eagles zone defense.
Reynaldo Solorzano scored 12 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Deese also scored 12 points of his own, while Curtis Brisbane and Hamilton added 11 points each. Hamilton also pulled down six rebounds.
The team will now look to put this season behind them as they look towards next season. Stay tuned for news on future recruiting announcements over the course of the spring and summer.