Wed., Dec 14th, 2011 [box score]
El Cajon, Calif. --The early portion of the GSAC schedule was not kind to the San Diego Christian College men’s basketball team, as the Hawks hosted The Master’s College on Saturday night. SDC fell victim to the Mustangs as a late rally was snuffed out and TMC stretched the lead out late in route to a 77-60 win.
The loss sends SDC to 2-4 overall and 0-2 in the GSAC. TMC moves to 9-2 overall and 2-0 in the GSAC. The Hawks' two GSAC games this season are against the two teams at the top of the conference standings and their GSAC opponents are a combined 19-3 overall.
The Hawks started out running, taking a quick lead behind some sharp outside shooting from Senior Johnny Del Bene. At the 16:39 mark, Del Bene drilled his second consecutive three pointer to push SDC in front 15-6. However, over the next eight minutes, TMC’s Mike Harmon would hit six three pointers (including on three consecutive possessions) and the Mustangs had turned a nine point deficit into a 30-20 lead.
The lead would remain in double figures heading into halftime with TMC up 43-32.
The second half saw TMC maintain their double figure lead for much of the time. Every time SDC would go on a small run, the Mustangs would hit a big shot to quiet the charge. The Hawks cut the lead to seven with 11:38 remaining on a three pointer by Tim Sanders, but TMC responded with a three pointer of their own.
SDC again cut the lead to single digits with 4:12 left on a three pointer by Arturo Preito. But TMC came right back with a drive and dish from Anthony Cammon to Paul Brown for a dunk that seemed to put the Hawks away.
TMC closed the game on a 10-2 run and the 17 point margin of victory was their largest lead of the game.
SDC was led by Del Bene with 19 points and Benji Arvizu added 8 points.
For the game, TMC won the rebound battle 36-20. SDC got to the foul line often, converting 18-27 attempts from the charity stripe. TMC shot 31-61 (50.8%) while SDC was 17-40 (42.5%).
After the game, Coach Tim Cook lamented his team's loss, stating, "We have to get better on defense. I preach it everyday in practice that we have to bring it come game time. We have to be better on and off the ball."
In addition, Cook looks to keep improving. "This is the best conference in the country and we need to have patience as we are working on changing and improving the program."
"This is a process and takes time. We will keep working and look forward to the next opportunity we have to prove ourselves on the court."
The Hawks host Thompson River University (Canada) on Tuesday, December 20th at 7:00pm.