Tue., Dec 20th, 2011 [box score]
El Cajon, Calif. --
The San Diego Christian College men’s basketball team scored the first eight points of the game and never looked back in a convincing 82-61 victory of the Thompson Rivers University Wolf Pack on Tuesday night at the Ryan Athletic Center. The Hawks (3-2, 1-1) used a balanced attack that saw six players score in double figures, including all five starters, and dish out 23 assists and while only committing six turnovers.
“We wanted to use ball movement to shift the defense as much as we could and work for the easy bucket,” said Senior Guard Keenan Patterson. “We focused on moving the ball around and things opened up for us.”
The Hawks started out quickly with an 8-0 run to kick off the game. SDC pushed the lead to 14-6 on a Kevin Dawson layup at the 13:56 mark. Dawson started out hot, scoring 10 of the team’s first 14 points. SDC continued to build on its lead, pushing it into double figures at 21-10 when Arash Riahi dropped in a soft hook shot.
The Wolf Pack kept the game within striking distance, and closed the half on a 7-2 run to make it a 33-28 game heading into the locker room.
“At halftime, Coach told us to focus on the defensive end of the court,” said Patterson. “He said that from our defense, everything will take care of itself.”
“We came out and executed from top to bottom.”
The Hawks came out with energy in the second half, behind Freshman Raphael Rodriguez. Rodriguez scored the Hawks’ first six points of the second half and eight of the first ten, pushing the SDC lead back to double figures. TRU scored on consecutive possessions to cut the lead to 39-34, but the Hawks promptly put the game away with a 14-4 run over the next three minutes.
The Hawks maintained a double figure lead for much of the second half, but TRU managed to get the lead into single digits at 63-54 with 6:39 left. SDC responded on a three pointer by Rodriguez, followed by a Rodriguez steal and assist to Tim Sanders (pictured left) for a dunk.
SDC closed the game by outscoring TRU 25-12 over the final six minutes.
Dawson led the Hawks with 14 points, while Sanders added 13 points and 9 rebounds. Johnny Del Bene chipped in with 12 points, Rodriguez had 11 points (all in the second half), and Xavier Mylleville and Riahi each had 10 points from the post. Calvin Seaberry led the team with six assists.
For the game, SDC shot 55.4% (31-56) from the field, including 65.5% (19-29) in the second half.
“Our main statement in the locker room was to remember this feeling,” said Patterson. “We will hopefully carry this over to the games after the break and continue the unselfish, team focused play.”
The Hawks fought through some struggles this week, as leading scorer Benji Arvizu went down with an injury and leading bench scorer Arturo Prieto went home due to the loss of a family member. Head Coach Tim Cook praised his team’s effort after the game.
“We had a lot of adversity this week to deal with as a team,” said Cook. “Not having two of our top scorers meant we had to rely on other guys to step up. We had a number of players that played with great confidence and poise which is what we want from them.”
“There is a lot of promise with the way that those guys performed as we enter the second half of our schedule.”
SDC takes short break for Christmas before hosting Ashford University on December 29th at 7:30pm.