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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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