FULLERTON, Calif.—A huge second half lifted the San Diego Christian College men's basketball team to 62-47 upset of No. 18 Hope International University on the road Tuesday night. SDCC outscored HIU 38-19 in the second half, including closing the game on a 20-5 run over the final 7:07 of the game.
The Hawks are now 7-15 overall and 4-9 in the GSAC. HIU falls to 23-6 and 8-5 in conference play.
"We played a great defensive game tonight," said SDCC head coach Tim Cook. "HIU is a fantastic team and has been so consistent this season. Coach Czech has done a great job with this group of guys and you have to be at the top of your game to get a win against them."
"I am proud of the way we played tonight on both ends of the court."
The game was tight throughout much of the first half, with neither team seizing momentum. With the game tied 14-14, HIU went on a modest 8-2 run to take a 22-16 lead at the 8:10 mark, which was the largest lead by either team in the first half. The Hawks responded with an 8-2 small run of their own, tying the game at 24-24 with just over three minutes remaining. The Royals scored the final four points of the defensive battle and took a 28-24 lead into the locker room.
HIU was 11-36 (30.6 percent) from the field in the first half, while SDCC connected on 10-24 (41.7 percent) shots.
"At the break, I was slightly concerned because we were outrebounded and HIU attempted 12 more shots than us," said Cook on his halftime adjustments. "We made some subtle changes at the break. We wanted to control the glass, spread the floor, and finish shots. We didn't rush in the second half and that allowed us to get good shots and we were able to convert."
The second half appeared to be shaping up like the first, with neither team building a lead larger than four for the first twelve minutes of the half.
Then, with the score tied 42-42 and just over seven minutes to play, SDCC reeled off a 20-5 run over the remainder of the contest.
Within that run, SDCC scored eight straight points at one point, highlighted by a one-handed putback dunk from Peter Beale-Wirsing that made it a 51-44 game. After Beale-Wirsing's dunk, the Hawks outscored the Royals 11-3.
Orlando Collins posted a double-double for the Royals with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Kris Rosales added 9 points and Jeremy Kilgore had 8 points.
For the game, SDCC was 20-47 (42.6 percent) from the field. HIU connected on 28.1 percent (18-64) of its field goal attempts, including 7-28 (25 percent) in the second half.
SDCC won the battle on the glass, outrebounding the Royals 42-36, with a 24-15 advantage in the second half.
The Hawks, who currently rank sixth in the NAIA in free throw percentage (74 percent) this season, connected on 18-23 from the charity stripe, while HIU was 8-11 from the line.
SDCC concludes its regular season on Saturday, February 23, hosting Vanguard. Tipoff is set for 7:30pm.
"We are excited for this weekend to play in front of the homecoming crowd," added Cook. "If we come out and play like we did tonight, we will give ourselves a chance to win."
"We want to stay the course and continue to build momentum heading into the conference tournament."