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.