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NAIA DISTRICT 3 BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT : Southern California College Opens Defense of District 3 Title Tonight

The Southern California College men’s basketball team will begin defense of its National Assn. of Intercollegiate Athletics District 3 title with a first-round game at 7:30 tonight at The Master’s College in Newhall.

The winner of the seven-team tournament advances to the NAIA national tournament next month in Kansas City.

Christ College Irvine (12-17), which qualified for the playoffs for the first time in its history, is the tournament’s seventh seed and will play at Fresno Pacific, the Golden State Athletic Conference champion Tuesday. Last Tuesday, the Eagles upset Fresno, 55-53, at Fresno.

The Vanguards (23-7), who advanced to the second round of the national tournament last season, lost at The Master’s, 95-71, in January but have won their past three games and finished in a second-place tie with Westmont in the GSAC.

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SCC is led by Jeff Bickmore, an all-district and conference center who averaged 19.9 points and 8.3 rebounds this season. Mike Henjum, who was also an all-district, first-team selection, led the district in three-point shooting percentage (49.2%). Ian Donnelly and Corey Smith averaged 11 points for Christ College Irvine.


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