FULLERTON, Calif.—A huge second half lifted the San Diego Christian College men's basketball team to a 62-47 upset of No. 18 Hope International University on the road Tuesday night. San Diego Christian outscored Hope International 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. Hope International falls to 23-6 and 8-5 in conference play.
"We played a great defensive game tonight," said San Diego Christian head coach Tim Cook. "Hope International 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, Hope International 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.
Hope International was 11-36 (30.6 percent) from the field in the first half, while San Diego Christian connected on 10-24 (41.7 percent) shots.
"At the break, I was slightly concerned because we were outrebounded and Hope International 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, San Diego Christian reeled off a 20-5 run over the remainder of the contest.
Within that run, San Diego Christian 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.
San Diego Christian was led by their guard play, as Kwaminique Brandon led the team with 18 points and Derrick Thompson had 11. The two combined for 22 second half points. Kevin Dawson chipped in with 10 points.
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, San Diego Christian was 20-47 (42.6 percent) from the field. Hope International connected on 28.1 percent (18-64) of its field goal attempts, including 7-28 (25 percent) in the second half.
San Diego Christian 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 Hope International was 8-11 from the line.