Cedar City, Utah—The San Diego Christian College men's basketball team started a stretch of five NCAA Division I games on Saturday, facing Southern Utah. The Hawks hung tough through the first half before falling to the Thunderbirds 95-65 in an exhibition.
The Thunderbirds are now 2-6 on the season. The game was marked as an exhibition for SDCC and the Hawks remain 3-3.
"We didn't dictate the pace of the game tonight and they really controlled the tempo," said SDCC Head Coach Tim Cook. "We didn't do what we needed to do and things did not go our way."
SDCC fell behind quickly as SUU took an early 10-2 lead. The Hawks responded on a 9-2 run to cut the lead to 12-11 on a three pointer from Andy Saharan at the 13:58 mark.
The Thunderbirds then went on a 14-4 run over the next five minutes to take a double digit lead. SDCC battled back to cut the lead to 40-31 heading into halftime.
The second half saw SUU use a 19-8 run over the first seven minutes of the second half to build a 59-39 advantage. The Thunderbirds expanded the lead late in the game before taking the 95-65 win.
"We struggled tonight transitioning from offense to defense," added Cook. "Against these NCAA Division I teams, you have to be near perfect. We were not tonight and it showed."
SDCC featured four players scoring in double figures. Kwaminique Brandon led the Hawks with 15 points, while Derrick Thompson scored 13 off the bench. Kevin Dawson added 12 points and Andy Saharan chipped in 11.
"We are in a midst of a difficult stretch against these D-I schools," continued Cook. "During this time, we have to strive to continue to get better and compete."
"This is a fantastic group of young men and I look forward to watching our progression and how we can use this experience when we play teams at our level."
SDCC will travel to UC Irvine on Tuesday, December 4. Game time is scheduled for 7:05pm.