COSTA MESA, Calif. – San Diego Christian looked strong as it took on No. 2 Vanguard in Golden State Athletic Conference action on Tuesday, but in the end the Lions persevered to stay perfect (10-0, 1-0 GSAC) on the year. Senior Esther Timmermans (Melbourne, Australia) boasted 21 points and nine rebounds for the Blue and Gold in the win.
"We did not play well tonight, but give credit to San Diego Christian," Head Coach Russ Davis said. "I thought they played really well. We found a way to win, and that's what good teams do. We came out way more aggressive in the second half and that was the difference."
The Lions' 2012-13 GSAC opener got off to a slow start, deadlocked at 0-0 for nearly three and a half minutes before Timmermans put Vanguard on the board with a jump-shot at the 16:39 mark. She did not stop there, quickly rattling off another jumper, a free throw and a lay-up to give Vanguard a 7-0 lead at 14:02.
Senior Chelsea Alfafara (Dana Point, Calif.) hit from downtown to extend Vanguard's advantage to eight (10-2) but from there the Hawks found a rhythm and began to chip away at the Lions' lead until San Diego Christian secured a 15-14 edge of its own at 6:05.
San Diego Christian refused to let go of its lead for the remainder of the first and held a six-point (23-17) advantage at the half.
The Hawks opened the second with a 3-pointer and a jumper to go up by 11 points but again Timmermans went on a tear, scoring 11 in just over five minutes to almost single-handedly give her squad a 31-30 edge at 12:50.
The lead briefly switched hands on two more occasions until junior Nicole Ballestero (Orange, Calif.) found her way to the basket and scored at 8:18. From there the game belonged to Vanguard who finished strong and defeated the Hawks 56-50.
Ballestero finished the game with 12 points, all of which she scored in the second period. She also dished three assists and grabbed three rebounds. Senior Maree Drennan (Wheelers Hill, Australia) was solid on the night, registering a game-high ten rebounds to go with her seven points, two assists and two steals. Classmate and sister Alison Drennan (Wheelers Hill, Australia) managed six points, seven boards, two assists, two steals and two blocked shots for Vanguard. In another well-rounded performance, Alfafara tallied 10 points, six rebounds, three assists and a block.
SDC junior Heather Serven (San Diego, Calif.) nailed five three-pointers in the contest and finished with 21 points. The Hawks drop just below .500 (8-9) with the loss, and will take on No. 12 Westmont on Saturday.
Vanguard travels to Biola (RV) on Saturday for a 5:30pm contest with the Eagles. BU lost to Westmont 78-51 in its GSAC opener on Tuesday.