SCC Comes Out Firing in Second Half to Win

Southern California College came back from a sluggish first half Tuesday night to defeat California Baptist, 96-78, in the Golden State Athletic Conference opener for both teams at SCC.

“It was like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde game,” SCC Coach Bill Reynolds said. “We just didn’t have the intensity the first half, but really got things together later.”

SCC (12-2) is ranked second in the latest National Christian Collegiate Athletic Assn. poll.

“We didn’t come out very hard. Maybe we were in awe of their jumping ability, but I let (the team) know I was disappointed,” Reynolds said. “We needed to play Vanguard defense, a little more tenacious with a lot more intensity. “


The Vanguards did just that. Trailing, 37-32, they came out from what Reynolds called his shortest halftime speech ever to score 8 unanswered points, sparked by a steal and layup by junior Terry Scruggs, to take the lead, 40-37.

“I really didn’t say all that much to them. I just spoke for 3 minutes and told them what everybody here already knew, that we played poorly in the first half. I don’t know what they said and decided individually or collectively, but they came out and played the style we needed to to beat quality teams, " Reynolds said.

Cal Baptist came within 3 points, 48-45, with 15 minutes to play after SCC’s Jeff Bickmore, who finished with 21 points and 9 rebounds, traded baskets three times with four-time All-Conference player Michael Banks. But SCC was able to pull away for the victory.

Banks had a game-high 26 points, despite picking up 3 fouls guarding Bickmore in the first 10 minutes.

“Bickmore did a great job of faking and played outstandingly on defense, but we didn’t try to foul Banks, it just happened,” Reynolds said.

SCC trailed, 23-13, 6 minutes into the first half, but managed to cut the lead to 37-32 at the half. Cal Baptist outrebounded the Vanguards, 13-10, during the first half, but SCC forced 12 turnovers and pulled down 18 rebounds in the second half.