East County Sports

Novsek closes door on Hawks career, season

Vanguard shoots against San Diego Christian on Thursday.

2019 SAN DIEGO CHRISTIAN HAWKS MEN’S BASKETBALL

Courtesy, GSAC media relations

COSTA MESA (3-1-2019) – Vanguard University saluted its seniors Thursday night (Feb. 28) with a final win in The Pit after taking down San Diego Christian College, 81-53, to send off Malachi Hoosein, Deven Riley, Mario Soto, Jadan Anderson, Geremy McKay and Connor Kennedy with a victory.

The 10th-ranked Lions finish the regular season with a 25-5 overall record (13-5 GSAC). and will advance to the Golden State Athletic Conference Tournament. They will be the second seed behind 5th-ranked The Master’s.

Senior guard Derek Novsek, the leading scorer for San Diego Christian, closed his Hawks career with a team-best 24 points, as the ballclub finished 9-18 (5-13, 8th in GSAC).

Honestly , I have a lot of emotions going into this game,” said Hoosein. “I kind of felt all over the place. I love Vanguard. I came in here a wide eyed freshman and wasn’t the biggest fan of the place and now I’m someone who calls this place home. I appreciate everyting this school has done for me and this program has done for me and sad to say it’s my last game in The Pit.” 

Hoosein made a three-pointer to put the Lions on top, and after the Hawks tied it 7-7, one from Kennedy moved VU back in front. Soto followed with a layup before Brandon Brothers banked a three-pointer to make the score 15-11.

Points from Isaiah Gentry and Anderson helped Vanguard establish a 7-point advantage, but San Diego Christian used a 6-0 run to come within one.

Hoosein hit a deep shot to slow down SDCC, and baskets from McKay and Jonah Tolmaire with Hoosein’s third three-pointer of the night made the score 37-27 VU. Riley nailed two free throws to end the half with a 39-29 Lion lead.

The Hawks reduced the Vanguard lead to seven at the start of the second, but Riley responded with a layup to maintain Lion control. With the Hawks closing in behind three-point plays, points from Tolmaire and Gentry cultivated the Lions’ 51-39 lead with 11:34 to play.

Free throws from Brothers and a shot behind the arc from Anderson off James Moore‘s rebound advanced the Vanguard lead to 17 with eight to go. Vanguard built on their lead with a 7-1 run, highlighted by an explosive dunk from Riley. Aaron Byrne sank a three-pointer and Anderson added a layup to send off the seniors with the 81-53 win. 

Hoosein had 17 points and five rebounds while Brothers posted 13 with two rebounds. Anderson added 10, shooting .500 from three-point range.

Vanguard shot 43.5 percent as a team with 50 boards, nine steals and four blocks. 

The GSAC tournament will be held in Rocklin and begins March 7.

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