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Hawks Fall to Aztecs in Exhibition

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CC_GSACThu., Jan 5th, 2011 [box score]
San Diego, Calif. -- The San Diego Christian College men’s basketball team wrapped up non-conference competition on Thursday night, falling to the reigning Mountain West Champions San Diego State Aztecs 83-52. The game was an exhibition for SDC, however, the game counted as a win for #24 ranked SDSU.

“We came in with a goal to work on execution against an NCAA top 25 ranked team,” said Head Coach Tim Cook. “We wanted to make them earn their points and work on defense.”

“I feel like we accomplished that tonight.”

After the Aztecs scored on their first possession to take a 2-0 lead, the Hawks tied the game up on a Kevin Dawson layup. SDSU scored consecutive buckets, but Johnny Del Bene drilled a three pointer to cut the lead to 6-5. SDSU went on a 19-5 run over the next ten minutes to take control of the game. The Hawks continued to battle, but the Aztecs were too much and held a commanding 44-36 lead heading into the locker room.

The free throw discrepancy played a major role in the first half difference. The SDSU’s size inside led to the Aztecs getting to the foul line 21 times and converting on 17 of those chances. By comparison, SDC was 1-2 from the charity stripe in the first half.

The Hawks showed life coming out of the locker room in the second half, going on a 9-2 run to cut into the Aztec lead. The run was sparked by seven straight points from Tim Sanders, who hit a pair of jumpers and a three pointer off an assist from Arturo Prieto, prompting SDSU Head Coach Steve Fisher to call a timeout.

The Hawks went cold after the timeout and the Aztecs continued to push the momentum, taking a large lead late. The Hawks’ Ryan Rubino scored the final 10 points for SDC, including knocking down a trifecta of three pointers.

The Hawks were led by Rubino with 13 points. Prieto added 9 points and four assists.

SDC shot 40.4% (19-47) from the field and made 10-25 three pointers.

Overall, Cook was pleased with his team’s performance.

“Heading into GSAC play, we need to be efficient on the offensive end, play tough defense, and rebound,” added Cook. “This game helped us due to the level of competition. Many times when you play great teams, you can play into their hands and let them dictate the game. We did a nice job of playing efficient, team basketball tonight and that will help us as we move forward.”

SDC heads to Santa Barbara to take on Westmont College on Saturday, January 7th.

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