FULLERTON, Calif. – Michael Lambert converted on a layup with 11 seconds left to force overtime and Trevor English blocked a potential game-tying shot in OT with a second left as SDC defeated No. 23 ranked Hope International University 77-75 to end their 3-game conference losing streak Tuesday night.
The Hawks found themselves trailing 67-63 with 2:32 remaining in the game. Rafael Rodriguez hit a jumper to bring the score within two before Lambert's layup forced extra play.
The score was tied three separate times in the extra frame. The Hawks finally grabbed their first lead in OT when Rodriguez hit a jumper with 2:41 remaining. After two free throws tied the score back up, Kwaminique Brandon nailed a 3-pointer after a timeout to give the Hawks a 76-73 lead.
Down one with 27 seconds left, the Royals fouled Derek Dickerson to put him at the line. He converted one of the two free throws for a 77-75 lead. HIU called a timeout with five seconds left to draw up a play but Matt Green's jumper was eventually blocked by English.
The Hawks shot 44.3 percent from the field and 40 percent from beyond the arc. HIU's shooting stats closely mirrored the Hawks. The Royals were 44.1 percent from the field and were also 40 percent from deep.
Each team made 15 free throws.
Dickerson led all scorers with 27 points. He was 6-for-8 beyond the arc and 8-of-15 from the field. English finished with a double-double scoring 17 points and 10 rebounds with two blocks. Rodriguez added 11 points and six steals.
With the win, the Hawks improve to 7-9 overall and 3-4 in GSAC play. HIU falls to 14-8 and 2-5 in conference. The win over No. 23 HIU is the first against a ranked team this season for the Hawks. For the season SDC is 1-5 against NAIA Top 25 teams.
There were 23 lead changes and 13 tied scores in the seesaw battle between the two teams.
Carlton Hayes and Austin Sanford led HIU with 17 points apiece. Matt Green added 12.
Midway through the first half, the Hawks used a 9-0 run to find their biggest lead of the half 29-21. An HIU bucket with a second left in the half cut the Royals deficit to three as SDC led 36-33.
HIU came out firing in the second half to an 8-2 run and led for most of the second half but the Hawks kept it close throughout. After Lambert's layup to tie the game, SDC had one final chance to win it outright before OT. English created a steal with two seconds left before giving it quickly to Brandon. But Kwam's 3-pointer at the buzzer was off the mark.
The Hawks look to build their conference record as they travel to Westmont Saturday. SDC earned a 98-95 win the last time the two teams met back on Jan. 18.