Fri., Mar 9th, 2012 El Cajon, Calif. --
For the first time since 99-00, the San Diego Christian College women’s basketball team made a run to the GSAC playoffs. Despite a loss in the first round, the Lady Hawks’ season was memorable and record setting, as SDCC set a school record for wins in a season (20) and wins in the GSAC (9).
“Winning 20 games was amazing. I still don't think I've really come to terms with the fact we were 20-11,” said Head Coach Kelsey Dillon. “That is a win total that all the top teams in the GSAC strive for every year and we accomplished it after an 8-20 season (in 2010-2011). It was a very successful year for us and we are excited to improve on it next year.”
The season saw its ups and downs, with a perfect run through the non-conference portion of the schedule after dropping the season opener to La Sierra University where the Lady Hawks ended the game with only four players on the court due to injuries. The Lady Hawks went on to win 13 of the next 14 games leading into the New Year and the GSAC portion of the season.
The Lady Hawks’ season was highlighted by a thrilling 59-56 victory over GSAC champion and then #4 ranked Westmont on homecoming back on February 4th.
Coach Dillon is tasked with replacing four seniors (Brittany Robinson, Jasmin Thomas, Michelle Gonzalez, and Juanita Lewis). Robinson, the leading scorer from a year ago, was second on the 11-12 team with 12.5 points per game.
“I am very grateful for our seniors and what they did for our program. They have helped us set a new bar in the women's program and will be missed, “ said Dillon. “That said, we had a very unpredictable year with injuries and ineligible players, which left a ton of talent on our bench. We have players that can step right into the roles that our seniors played and help push the program to the next level.”
SDCC was led by Junior Brittany Daniel. Daniel, a San Diego native and transfer from Southwestern College in Chula Vista, averaged 18.6 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. Daniel’s 18.6 ppg ranked her tenth in the nation in points per game and fourth in the GSAC in that same category. Daniel was named to the All-GSAC team at the conclusion of the regular season and was named NAIA Honorable Mention All-American.
Dillon looks to build on the success and garner more respect next season.
“I think that I have gained some respect from most of the GSAC coaches, especially those who know what a difficult situation we have to work through here. But I don't think that the expectation level for my team has necessarily risen according to those other coaches. I think we need to prove ourselves another year before we start getting resect at the national level and expect to finish at the top in the GSAC.”
“For me, however, my expectations have grown tremendously. Even though we had a great year, it could have been so much better and we could of been at the national tournament if we would have won our last games against Biola.”
Dillon continued, “So we are right there and very easily could have accomplished more milestones. I have no intentions of doing any less next year and hopefully since we've experienced the playoffs now, we can take care of business.”
As SDCC looks to build off of a record setting season, Dillon knows that there was unfinished business in the GSAC tournament.
“Our culture within our team has definitely shifted and the girls expect as much of themselves as I do. We are not worn out, frustrated and tired of basketball like we usually are at the end of the season. Winning changes a lot of things. Because of that, we are ready to get down to business right away.”
“Preparations and focus for next season has already begun and we know what it's going to take to get there too. The girls are pumped and ready for the challenge.”