East County Sports

Hard-trying Hawks build momentum



ECS staff report

ROCKLIN – When it comes to roller-coasters, some of the world’s most extreme rides include structures like Kingda Ka and ElToro in New Jersey, plus Takabisha and Dodonpa in Japan.

When it comes to NAIA college basketball, San Diego Christian College completed its own version of ups-and-downs. However, despite a contest of extremes, 24th-ranked William Jessup University barely maintained its share of first place by staving off the Hawks, 68-62, in Thursday’s (Feb. 11) Golden State Athletic Conference nail-biter. BOXSCORE

The triumph allowed the Warriors (8-2 overall) to keep stay with No. 5 Arizona Christian (19-2) at 5-0 on top of the GSAC East Division. The Firestorm kept its share on top by whipping Ottawa (Ariz.), 102-70.

San Diego Christian, despite staying close to yet another nationally-ranked opponent fell to 1-10 (1-4 GSAC). Earlier, they took then-No. 24 Antelope Valley to overtime, also on the road.

The Hawks’ first dip saw the start slowly, trailing 11-2 out of the gate after dropping a Tuesday contest on the road at NCAA Division I Southern Utah, 100-50, in Cedar City. A long, draining travel itinerary on Wednesday made the slow start predictable, but then the Hawks flipped the switch.

The Haws answered with their own downhill ride, going on a 40-21 run to close the half to secure a 42-32 halftime lead. Teyden Gause led the surge with 12 points, hitting 5-of-6 shots from inside the arc. Chew also shared game rebounding honors with eight caroms.

Gause matched teammate Greg Chew with a team-high of 18 points. Chew tallied 12 of his points in the second half.

Wen the Hawks registered the first bucket of the second half, the visitors pushed the margin to 12 points before the Warriors answered behind a team-best 14 points by Tim Strijaous.

Foul shots allowed William Jessup to pull even at 43-all with 10:46 remaining, then moved in front at 56-50 with just under seven minutes to play, capping 24-6 run.

SDCC clawed back to within 62-61 on a Kyle Ruiz foul shot with 24 seconds left, but the Warriors were successful at the foul line to barely hang on.

The ballclubs cap the home-and-home series on Saturday at the Kroc Center, starting at  1 p.m.

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