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Hawks' Comeback Comes Up Short

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CC_GSACThu., Dec 29th, 2011 [box score]
El Cajon, Calif. --A comeback fell just short for the San Diego Christian College men’s basketball team on Thursday night, as Benji Arvizu’s drive and shot as time expired fell off the side of the rim in a 60-58 loss to Ashford University (IA). The Hawks fought back from a double digit deficit in the second half and tied the game with less than two minutes left, but couldn’t overcome a late Saints’ surge get the win.

“It was a tale of two halves,” said Head Coach Tim Cook. “To win college basketball games, you need to play two complete halves. When you prepare and don’t perform the way you have prepared, you have to change it. We made the change in the second half, but it was not enough.”

“We were able to get to the top of the mountain, but were not able to get over the top.”

Close calls are becoming the norm for SDC this season. In their eight games, the Hawks have played three games that have been decided by less than three points.

The loss sends SDC to 3-5 and AU moves to 10-5.

SDC started strong, jumping up 6-1 after a pair of layups from Xavier Mylleville (pictured left). The Saints responded and took the lead at 10-9 after a three point play from AU’s Matthias Burns; the Saints would never trail again. AU pieced together a 14-5 run over an eight minute stretch to open up a 10 point advantage. SDC’s Johnny Del Bene converted a layup just before halftime to slice the AU lead to 26-18 heading to the locker room, following the low scoring first half.

Neither team shot well in the first half, with AU connecting on 7-22 field goals (31.8%) while SDC hit 6-18 shots (33.3%). The difference was from the free throw line, as AU was 11-16 from the charity stripe and SDC was 6-12.

The second half saw both teams go on small runs throughout. After AU stretched their lead to 35-25, SDC scored the next seven points on three straight possessions on buckets from Calvin Seaberry, Del Bene, and Kevin Dawson to cut the lead to 35-32.

The Saints bounced right back and went on a small 7-0 run of their own to move the lead back to double digits with 10:42 remaining. Both teams kept exchanging baskets for much of the second half, and AU looked to be pulling away with a 54-45 lead with 4:26 left in the game.

The Hawks would not go quietly, as Del Bene drove and kicked the ball out to Tim Sanders who drilled a three pointer to cut the lead to 54-48. After a defensive stop, Del Bene drove and hit a leaning jumper in the lane to bring the AU lead down to 54-50. After a pair of Saints free throws, SDC’s Keenan Patterson connected on a three pointer from the corner to make it a one possession game at 56-53 with 1:20 left in the game. The Hawks’ defense forced a bad pass from the Saints, setting up the opportunity to tie the game for the first time since early in the first half.

On the ensuing possession, Dawson drove and kicked the ball out to Del Bene, who promptly drilled a three pointer to tie the game. The tie would last only a few seconds, as AU’s Jonathan Wyatt nailed a three pointer from the corner on a skip pass from Jason Landry to put the Saints up 59-56. On the next possession, SDC pounded it inside to Sanders, who hit a turnaround jumper in the paint to cut the lead to one.

SDC worked for a steal, but were unable to strip the ball, and fouled the Saint’s Javier Valdez. After missing the first free throw, Valdez made the second, sending AU to a 60-58 advantage. AU, with a foul to give, fouled Del Bene with :4.7 seconds left in the game as he crossed half court.

After an SDC timeout, Arvizu caught the inbound pass and drove to his left, getting into the lane and putting up a shot. The ball fell off the side of the rim and was batted out as time expired.

SDC was led by Sanders with 12 points, including hitting 3-5 three pointers. Del Bene added 12 points and Mylleville had 10 points.

The Hawks shot 64% from the field in the second half, including hitting 6-9 three pointers. SDC struggled from the free throw line, connecting on only 8-15 attempts. SDC outrebounded AU 31-22, but the Saints forced 17 SDC turnovers, leading to 17 points.

“I was happy with the way we rebounded and played in the second half,” continued Cook. “Ultimately, missed free throws and turnovers did us in. We are a more efficient team than that but did not execute tonight.”

“We must continue to improve and work to play a complete 40 minutes to be the team we want to be.”

The Hawks continue their season on Friday, December 30th at 6:00pm against Baker University (KS).

Hawks Take Down Wolf Pack

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CC_GSACTue., Dec 20th, 2011 [box score]
El Cajon, Calif. -- The San Diego Christian College men’s basketball team scored the first eight points of the game and never looked back in a convincing 82-61 victory of the Thompson Rivers University Wolf Pack on Tuesday night at the Ryan Athletic Center. The Hawks (3-2, 1-1) used a balanced attack that saw six players score in double figures, including all five starters, and dish out 23 assists and while only committing six turnovers.

“We wanted to use ball movement to shift the defense as much as we could and work for the easy bucket,” said Senior Guard Keenan Patterson. “We focused on moving the ball around and things opened up for us.”

The Hawks started out quickly with an 8-0 run to kick off the game. SDC pushed the lead to 14-6 on a Kevin Dawson layup at the 13:56 mark. Dawson started out hot, scoring 10 of the team’s first 14 points. SDC continued to build on its lead, pushing it into double figures at 21-10 when Arash Riahi dropped in a soft hook shot.

The Wolf Pack kept the game within striking distance, and closed the half on a 7-2 run to make it a 33-28 game heading into the locker room.

“At halftime, Coach told us to focus on the defensive end of the court,” said Patterson. “He said that from our defense, everything will take care of itself.”

“We came out and executed from top to bottom.”

The Hawks came out with energy in the second half, behind Freshman Raphael Rodriguez. Rodriguez scored the Hawks’ first six points of the second half and eight of the first ten, pushing the SDC lead back to double figures. TRU scored on consecutive possessions to cut the lead to 39-34, but the Hawks promptly put the game away with a 14-4 run over the next three minutes.

The Hawks maintained a double figure lead for much of the second half, but TRU managed to get the lead into single digits at 63-54 with 6:39 left. SDC responded on a three pointer by Rodriguez, followed by a Rodriguez steal and assist to Tim Sanders (pictured left) for a dunk.

SDC closed the game by outscoring TRU 25-12 over the final six minutes.

Dawson led the Hawks with 14 points, while Sanders added 13 points and 9 rebounds. Johnny Del Bene chipped in with 12 points, Rodriguez had 11 points (all in the second half), and Xavier Mylleville and Riahi each had 10 points from the post. Calvin Seaberry led the team with six assists.

For the game, SDC shot 55.4% (31-56) from the field, including 65.5% (19-29) in the second half. 

“Our main statement in the locker room was to remember this feeling,” said Patterson. “We will hopefully carry this over to the games after the break and continue the unselfish, team focused play.”

The Hawks fought through some struggles this week, as leading scorer Benji Arvizu went down with an injury and leading bench scorer Arturo Prieto went home due to the loss of a family member. Head Coach Tim Cook praised his team’s effort after the game.

“We had a lot of adversity this week to deal with as a team,” said Cook. “Not having two of our top scorers meant we had to rely on other guys to step up. We had a number of players that played with great confidence and poise which is what we want from them.”

“There is a lot of promise with the way that those guys performed as we enter the second half of our schedule.”

SDC takes short break for Christmas before hosting Ashford University on December 29th at 7:30pm.


Hawks Depth Overwhelms Spartans

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CC_GSACSat., Dec 10th, 2011 [box score]
El Cajon, Calif. -- With 12 players playing at least 10 minutes, the San Diego Christian College men’s basketball team showed their depth and used a balanced attack to defeat the Central Bible College Spartans (MO) 89-59 on Saturday night at the Ryan Athletic Center.

The win moves SDCC to 2-3 overall on the early season.

“We always urge our players to play with energy and desire,” said Head Coach Tim Cook. “If they don’t, they know we have someone that can spark us off the bench. Ultimately, we used that depth to wear them down tonight.”

SDCC started the game on a 9-2 run and never trailed. CBC fought back to cut the lead to five at 12-7, but Senior Guard Johnny Delbene nailed three pointers on three of the next four possessions to move the lead to double figures. Again, the Spartans clawed their way back into the game, cutting the lead to 24-19 with 8:30 before half. SDCC would remove any doubt by going on an 18-4 run over the next 6:30 and went into the locker room with a 46-31 lead after Senior Guard Keenan Patterson (pictured left) drove into the lane and converted a layup as time expired in the first half.

The second half saw SDCC’s lead balloon up to 35 at one point, as the Hawks shot 58.1% from the field in the half and hit five three pointers, including on three straight possessions early in the half. The Hawks paced quickened in the second half, as they had seven steals which led to 13 fast break points.

For the game, the Hawks were led by Toni Cali off the bench with 16 points on 6-8 shooting. Benji Arvizu (14 points), Delbene (11 points), and Tim Sanders (10 points) also scored in double figures. Sanders grabbed 8 rebounds and Delbene had 5 assists. On the defensive side of the ball, Patterson and Raphael Rodriguez had three steals each for SDCC.

“Our bench players played great for us tonight,” said Cook. “Tony (Cali) with his scoring, and Keenan (Patterson) with his tenacity and hustle, were outstanding. Our entire bench did a great job of keeping the foot on the pedal in the second half.”

Overall, Cook looks to keep the momentum from this win going.

“With the difficulty of our schedule, this homestand in December is important for us to get confidence heading into GSAC games in January.”

“We are focused on finishing finals this week and gearing up for next Saturday when Master’s comes in.“

SDCC welcomes The Master’s College to campus on Saturday, 17th for their last GSAC battle until January.

Hawks Lose Close Battle to CMS 71-69

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CC_GSACMon., Dec 5th, 2011 [box score]
El Cajon, Calif. --In a game where the largest lead  was only seven points and both teams battled to seven ties and eight lead changes, the San Diego Christian College men’s basketball team had a chance with seconds remaining to tie or take the lead, but came up short in a thrilling 71-69 loss to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges on Monday night. 

The loss sends SDCC to 1-3 overall while CMS stays perfect at 7-0.

The first half saw the Hawks struggle from the field, connecting on only 12-31 shots. CMS looked to stretch their lead out before half, but a pair of buckets by Raphael Rodriguez and a free throw from Johnny Delbene (pictured left) in the final two minutes, kept the game close. Despite the cold shooting, SDCC was only trailing 37-32 at the break.

To start the second half, both teams went back and forth with neither team building a big lead. SDCC fell behind seven with 15:42 left, but the Hawks went on a 10-2 run to take a 47-46 lead after Delbene hit a three pointer with 13:25 remaining.

The Stags quickly took the lead back, never to relinquish it. CMS went up 67-62 with just over 2:00 remaining, but the Hawks would not quit. Tony Cali stole a pass and hit Benji Arvizu on a fast break for a layup, on which Arvizu got fouled. Arvizu was unable to convert the three point play, and the lead stayed at three. The Stags broke the SDCC press and converted a layup of their own to push the lead back to five at 69-64. Delbene promptly brought the ball up the court and drilled another three pointer to cut the lead to two with :16 left in the game. CMS converted a pair of free throws and Delbene attacked the basket, drew a foul, and knocked down both free throws with :08 left. SDCC immediately fouled, and CMS missed the front end of a 1 and 1. Delbene brought the ball up the court and called a timeout with :03.6 remaining in the game and trailing 71-69.

Benji Arvizu received the inbound pass and attacked the hoop, splitting two Stag defenders. As Arvizu went up, he was fouled and the ball just rimmed out with only :00.1 left on the clock. Arvizu’s first free throw attempt was short and hit the front of the rim, setting up an intentional miss in an attempt to tip the ball in. But a lane violation gave CMS the ball back and the Stags were able to inbound the ball and run out the clock.

Delbene led SDCC with 17 points on 4-5 shooting from beyond the arc, while Arvizu and Tim Sanders had 11 points each.

SDCC struggled from the free throw line, going 14-26 from the charity stripe. In addition, CMS shot 54.3% from the field in the game and SDCC lost the rebounding battle 41-24.

The Hawks look to rebound at home on Saturday against Central Bible College (MO) at 7:30pm

Hawks Drop Conference Opener to #4 Concordia

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CC_GSACTue., Nov 29th, 2011 [box score]
Irvine, Calif.-- The San Diego Christian College men’s basketball drew a tough conference opener on Tuesday night, travelling to play the #4 Concordia University Eagles at CU Arena, where the Eagles are 75-4 over the past five seasons. The Eagles jumped up quickly and went on to a 108-68 victory over the Hawks.

SDCC kept it close early in the first half, trailing 14-8 over six minutes into the game. CU went on a 20-6 run over the next six minutes, stretching their lead to 34-14. The lead stayed close to that margin for the rest of the first half, with the Hawks going into halftime down 53-30.

The second half continued like the first, with the Eagles' defense keeping the Hawks at bay. CU had five players score in double figures, while the team shot 55.7% from the field.

The Hawks were led by Benji Arvizu with 18 points, while shooting 7-11 from the field. Arturo Prieto and Xavier Mylleville added 10 points each.

As a team, the Hawks shot 43.9% from the field, and out-rebounded the Eagles 42-35. The Eagles forced SDCC into 30 turnovers, leading to 42 CU points off turnovers.

The Hawks continue their season on Monday, December 5th, hosting Claremont College at 7:30pm.

Matadors Defeat Hawks in Exhibition

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by Brandon James & Kyle Ferguson

Tue., Nov 22nd 2011 
Northridge, Calif. --As the San Diego Christian men’s basketball team heads into conference play next Tuesday, the Hawks played yet another NCAA division I opponent on the road. SDCC traveled to Cal State University Northridge before a large crowd to see the two teams battle in the exhibition contest. The Hawks had a late arrival due to traffic in Los Angeles, leaving only 10 minutes before the game to warm up.

“When you live in Southern California, traffic is something you deal with by leaving hours ahead of time and sometimes things still happen,” said Coach Tim Cook. “Things like that make us mentally tougher. I don’t think it had a lot to do with the game, as Northridge took us out of our game and we had no answer for their shooting and rebounding.”

The Matadors started quickly with a breakaway dunk that ignited the crowd. The Hawks came back with some strong defense and got a breakaway layup from Tim Sanders. SDCC led at the first media timeout with Benji Arvizu leading the Hawks with 6 of the 10 points.

Hawks seemed to lose some of their luster out of the timeout and the Matadors scored 13 straight points before Kevin Dawson ended the run with a pair of free throws. With 11:45 left in the first half, Arvizu scored on the consecutive Hawks possessions with a running lay-up and a three-point shot that quieted the Matador crowd and cut the lead to 24-20. CSUN responded with a 25-8 run to close out the first half and head into the locker room with a 49-28 advantage.

The Hawks got going offensively in the second half and limited Big West Conference leading scorer, Stephan Hicks, to 6-18 shooting from the field and 2-6 from the three-point line. SDCC struggled shooting all game, but connected on five three pointers in the second half, and put up 40 second half points. Unfortunately for SDCC, the Matador role players stepped up as six CSUN players scored in double figures.

The Hawks had four players score in double figures, led by Benji Arvizu with 15 points. Arturo Prieto added 13 off the bench, while Tim Sanders and Xavier Mylleville had 11 points each.

SDCC shot 15-47 from the field. The Hawks were able to get to the free throw line, shooting 32-47 from the charity stripe. The Matadors forced 22 Hawk turnovers for the game.

"This is the type of game you chalk this up to experience,” said Cook. “We are to ready to start GSAC and be at home in December. We need to take care of business at home and keep striving to get better.

Cook also talked about the benefit of so many Division I games stating, “When you play high quality opponents, they exploit your weaknesses. This allows us to see clearly what we need to improve on and go back to practice work on it.

The Hawks next game is at Concordia University on November 29th in their first Golden State Athletic Conference contest with a 7:30pm start time.


Hawks Capture First Win of the Season

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CC_GSACFri., Nov 18th, 2011 [box score]
El Cajon, Calif.--The first official win of the Tim Cook era at San Diego Christian College came with drama, as the SDCC men’s basketball team fought off a tough Trevecca Nazarene University (TN) squad 75-72 on Friday night at the Ryan Athletic Center.

The Hawks move to 1-1 while the Trojans fall to 4-1.

“This is a great win for the program,” said Head Coach Tim Cook. “With the schedule we play, coming off a tough week, and beating a perennial NAIA power and top notch program in TNU, this was a step in the right direction for our program.”

The Hawks jumped up quickly after a Tim Sanders jumper made it 7-2. TNU responded and took the lead and held the lead the majority of the first half. The Trojans held their largest lead (28-21) at the 7:38 mark in the first half. SDCC kept the game in striking distance and took the lead on a pair of free throws from Jacob Garcia with :27 left in the half. TNU converted a pair of free throws right before the break and headed into the locker room with a 37-36 lead.

The Hawks came out with renewed energy in the second half and went on a 12-4 run to start the half. The lead would grow to 63-54 when Keenan Patterson drilled a three pointer off an assist from Benji Arvizu (pictured left) with 7:40 left in the game. The Trojans fought back with a 14-5 run to tie the game at 68-68 with 2:48 left in the game. The next possession, Arvizu attacked the hoop, drew the foul and knocked down both free throws. After SDCC forced a turnover, Johnnie Delbene converted on 1 of 2 free throws to move the lead to 71-68.

TNU responded with a bucket and called a timeout. SDCC came down and drained the shot clock before Xavier Mylleville received a pass in the lane from Sanders and powered the ball up and in to push the lead back to 3.

The Hawks continued their tough defense and Arvizu jumped in front of a pass for a steal and was immediately fouled. Arvizu again made both free throws to move the lead to 75-70. TNU got a put back with :02 left, but SDCC was able to get the ball inbounded to Delbene who ran out the clock.

“We struggled at times if the first half to get in a rhythm,” said Arvizu. “As the game went on, we were able to knock down shots and the bench stepped up and really contributed.”

The Hawks got 28 points from the bench, including 14 from Arturo Prieto with 11 coming in the first half.

The Hawks were led by Arvizu with 17 points. Mylleville added 14 points.

The game saw 10 ties and 4 lead changes. SDCC forced 17 turnovers and scored 24 points off of Trojan turnovers. In addition, the Hawks shot 26-32 from the charity stripe with Arvizu converting 13-14 attempts.

“As a returner, this win means a lot,” said Arvizu. “Coach Cook and his tremendous staff have us playing better each night. As we keep playing tough defense and keep staying poised, we will keep improving.”

“But we have to take one game at a time. It is always a good feeling to get a win, but we have to stay focused on the goal at hand.”

Cook praised his team after the game, especially the senior leadership from Arvizu, Sanders, Mylleville, Delbene, and Patterson.

“I have been preaching to the seniors this season that this is their team and we will not go anywhere without them leading us,” said Cook. “I ask a lot of them and they have come through.”

“For us to be successful, we need them to lead and they did that tonight.”

SDCC travels to Cal State Northridge for an exhibition on Tuesday, November 22nd at 7:05pm.
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