Mon., 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