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Saturday, January 21, 2006 - GSAC Game #9
Final -
#15 San Diego Christian 71, Sunbirds 68

FPU's furious rally falls short

Box score

El Cajon - The Fresno Pacific University Sunbirds dug a big hole for themselves in the first 20 minutes - a 16 point hole to be precise - made it worse early in the second half, then almost pulled out a victory.


The Sunbirds trailed by 22 points (60-38) with 8:20 to play, but mounted a furious 30-10 rally to close the gap to just two points, 70-68, with five seconds to play.

FPU did not get off a good shot on their final possession, then fouled Rowan Gray on the rebound. Gray made one of two from the line for the final three point margin.

The loss dipped FPU's record to 10-7 overall and 3-6 in GSAC play. Four of the team's six GSAC losses are by a combined total of 13 points. But that was little consolation for FPU head coach Clark Sheehy.

"We let them hit 54 percent of their shots in the first half, and we made only 32 percent of our own," said Sheehy . "You can't do that and expect to win. But we battled. I like the way we got after it in the second half. We were down by 22 late and we found a way to get back into it and give ourselves a chance to tie the game (and force overtime). We didn't quite get it done, but I think that says something about the character of our team. We still have a lot of season left, so we'll get back in the gym on Monday and keep working."

Tyler Hayes led the 15th-ranked Hawks with 25 points. Gray finished with a double-double, 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Lesego Molebatsi led FPU with 22 points and nine rebounds. Rudy Lopez was not far behind with 20 points.

The Sunbirds will wrap up the first round of GSAC play on Tuesday night when they host the Royal of Hope International University . Tip-off time in the Special Events Center is 7:30 p.m.

Updated Records
Sunbirds: 10-7, 3-6 (L2)
#15 San Diego Christian: 14-3, 8-1 (W4)

Today's contest was the 21st in a series that dates back to January 5, 1988. The Hawks now hold a 16-5 advantage, including a 11-2 edge in GSAC games.

Next Game
Tuesday, January 24 (7:30) - The Sunbirds will host the Hope International University Royals.

Next Home Game
Tuesday, January 24 (7:30) - The Sunbirds will host the Hope International University Royals.


Fresno Pacific University offers undergraduate and graduate programs that stress solid academic preparation and a strong ethical foundation. Each year more than 2,000 traditional and adult students attend classes on the 42-acre main campus in southeast Fresno or centers in Visalia and Bakersfield. The university also reaches 12,000 students across the nation and around the world through professional development studies programs. The only four-year Christian university in the Central Valley, FPU is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and ranked in the top quarter among Western universities master's category by U.S. News & World Report.

Opponent - Score - Record
Westminster T
Westminster T
Idaho State
Fresno State
California Baptist *
CSU Monterey Bay
Holy Names
Westmont *
Biola *
The Master's *
San Diego Chr *
Concordia *
Pt Loma Naz *
Vanguard *
Azusa Pacific *
Hope International *
* GSAC contest

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