Road-warrior Hawks in GSAC playoff Hunt

File photo by Vanilla Gorilla Photography on Facebook



ECS staff report

FULLERTON – San Diego Christian College guard Ryan Blackmon knocked down a pair of tie-breaking foul shots with three seconds remaining, then the Hawks survived a missed 3-point shot at the buzzer, to register yet another Golden State Athletic Conference road victory by stunning host Hope International, 82-80, Saturday (Feb. 11) at  Darling Pavilion.

The decision allowed San Diego Christian (6-11 overall, 5-11 GSAC) to equal a school record for most conference road wins in a season; the program joined GSAC in 1999-200 (along with Hope International)  after playing as an NAIA independent since the inception of men’s basketball in 1986-87 (by coincidence, the first season of the 3-point shot in college ball).

The triumph also kept the Hawks in contention to advance to the GSAC Tournament, moving within one game of Vanguard for the eight and final playoff berth. SDCC and the Lions meet on Thursday at Grossmont College.

The road statistic is especially impressive considering the team played six games on the road  against NCAA Division I programs — which don’t count against the record of NAIA schools,– predictably, dropping all of them.

However, the long string of losses — San Diego State, CSU Bakersfield, Grand Canyon, U. San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, CSU Fullerton,  plus Division II Point Loma Nazarene — made the Hawks battle-tested, as coach Dwayne Cosby’s club has been surging over entering the final week of the regular season.

Game action

Ryan Blackmon

Early on, San Diego Christian trailed by as many as 10 points. However, Blackmon came off the bench to tally 10 points. Included was a 6-for-6 effort at the foul line, including his two markers for the victory-clinching points to complete a season-series sweep of the Royals. The Hawks won both halves by identical counts of 41-40.

Just like the second half, Blackmon closed the first half by converting a 1-and-1 with one second left.

Down the final stretch, Greg Chew sliced through the Royals defense for a go-ahead layin at the 2-minute mark, but Hope called atimeout and managed an open layin by Christian Williams to make it 78-all with 1:47 to go.

The Hawks reclaimed the lead when Ausage Simau grabbed an offensive rebound and scored on the put-back with 1:24 on the clock, but Hope again puled even on a pair of Charles Neal foul shots with 1:07 to go.

With 23 second on the clock, Blackmon then re-entered the game with Cosby looking for more of his season-long, late-game magic, but he missed a contested jump shit.  The Hawks ran down the shot clock, but Blackmon was fouled and again nailed both free throws.

For the Hawks, Greg Chew played all 40 minutes, gitting 10-of-17 shots for a team-best 25 points. Chew also grabbed 10 boards to complete his double-double.

In addition, Simau added a career-high 22 points, one week after garnering his previous best of 21  to key a road win at Westmont.

Meanwhile,  Jonah Felix  added 14 points for SDC.

For Hope International (16-9, 9-7 GSAC), all five starters scored in double figures including a team-best 22 points from Jalani Horn, but the Royals recorded just one field goal over the final 3:26 in a failed attempt to forge overtime.

Next week, San Diego Christian closes the season hosting Vanguard on Thursday (Senior Night), then closing at Life Pacific on Saturday.


Hope International 83, San Diego Christian 54

FULLERTON – San Diego Christian College junior Mamaeia Makoni registered a team-high13 points, but the Hawks were no match for the play-off bound Royals of Hope International , 73-54, in GSAC action held Saturday’s (Feb. 11) at Darling Pavilion.

The Hawks went toe-to-toe with the Royals in the first quarter and only trailed by three points at the break. Hope began to pull away in the second quarter, however, and wrapped the first half with a 19-point lead over SDCC.

HIU (18-7 overall, 11-5 GSAC) gradually added to the Hawk deficit over the course of the second half and never allowed SDCC back into the game.

Shiane Talley led the Royals with 24 points while Fine recorded a double double (10 points, 11 rebounds).

San Diego Christian closes the season next week, hosting Vanguard on Thurday, then hit the road to meet Life Pacific on Saturday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Currently you have JavaScript disabled. In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser.

Exit mobile version