HPU men’s basketball opened conference play to two tough
losses to Grand Canyon University Jan. 3 and 4 at the Neal
Blaisdell Center, 54-49 and 58-50, respectively.
In the first three minutes of the Jan. 4 game, three Sea Warriors
had already drawn fouls with HPU scoreless on the board. Logan
Wolf managed to push his way through the paint and score the
first basket for the Sea Warriors in the fourth minute of the
game, but GCU continued to set the momentum, leaping out to
a quick lead, with two three-pointers and several free throws.
HPU’s Kamron Alborz sparked the bench and Spirit Club
with a long three-pointer that brought the Sea Warriors within
three points of the Antelopes, but GCU turnovers and inconsistent
shooting by HPU kept both teams from scoring. In the first
12 minutes of the first half, HPU’s field goal percentage
was 21.4 percent, and GCU was hitting only 29.2 percent.
The momentum shifted back to the Antelopes when GCU’s
Milee Karre hit consecutive three-pointers to give them a 10-point
lead. When HPU finally broke into double digits in the 16th
minute of the game, they trailed 21-10 and ended the half trailing
GCU grabbed the second-half momentum by forcing HPU turnovers
and sinking crucial field goals to establish and maintain an
18-point lead. The Sea Warriors were unable to spark their
offense, but a three-pointer by Ryan Walker brought them within
11 points of the Antelopes. With eight minutes remaining in
the game, two free throws by Brandon Lee closed the deficit
to nine points, and Lee sank two more free throws to bring
HPU within seven points and 3:35 remaining.
Walker hit his second three-pointer of the night and set off
the HPU bench, making the score 45-49 with 1:48 left on the
clock. A foul by Adam Reinking sent GCU’s Jason Stromvall
to the line, where he dampened Sea Warriors comeback hopes
by sinking two free throws, boosting the lead to six with a
minute left to play.
Andray Glenn sank two more free throws, but Reinking countered
with his first three-pointer of the game. GCU’s 73.7
percent free throw shooting ended the Sea Warriors hopes of
a conference win and the game at 58-50.
Rudy Bogan led the Antelopes with 19 points and nine rebounds,
while Lee led the Sea Warriors with 11 points and four rebounds.
These last two games, we didn’t start off well,” said
Head Coach and interim Athletic Director Darren Vorderbruegge. “I
think we did a pretty good job defensively, and it’s
not that we didn’t make good shot choices, but we just
didn’t make the good shots, shots that we typically make,” Vorderbruegge
On Dec. 2, the Sea Warriors, who are used to making second-half
comebacks, fell short to Holy Names University, 76-63. NAIA
All-American Marshall Hartman proved to be a nemesis to the
Sea Warriors, scoring a game-high 33 points. HPU trailed 38-30
at the half, but managed to tie the Hawks at 53-53, with the
help of Brandon Lee’s team-high 16 points. However, HNU
launched a 16-4 run in the final minutes of the game to secure
On Dec. 7, HPU played its first road game of the season, and
lost 53-51 to Menlo College in Atherton, Calif. Although the
HPU defense remained strong, the Sea Warrior offense struggled,
shooting 26 percent in the first half. In the second half,
the Sea Warriors doubled their shooting percentage and were
close to forcing overtime. Mickey Wheeler, who led HPU with
10 points, attempted to tie up the game, but his shot was blocked
with 12 seconds left, giving the Oaks their third win of the
The Sea Warriors met the University of California-San Diego
on Dec. 10, and ended their road trip with a sweet victory
over the Tritons, 53-50. Once again, the HPU defense rose to
the occasion, forcing UCSD to shoot 34 percent from the field,
but the game was still closely fought with 11 ties and 14 lead
changes. Three Sea Warriors ended with double figures, led
by Ryan Walker, who racked up 12 points. Clint Allard led UCSD
with 12 points.
At home, HPU faced 16th-ranked Seattle University on Dec. 14
at King Intermediate. The unranked Sea Warriors came close
to upsetting the Redhawks, but ultimately lost, 53-50. The
two teams exchanged baskets in the first half, but HPU stole
the momentum in the second half with eight consecutive points
scored by Patrick Towne. The Redhawks responded with a 12-3
run of their own, and Sea Warrior fouls and turnovers resulted
in the Redhawks win. Alborz shot a game-high 14 points for
HPU. Sam Kirby and Leigh Swanson led Seattle with 11 points
The Sea Warriors rebounded with an overtime victory against
the University of Arkansas-Monticello, 84-75, in the first
game of the Hoop-N-Surf Tournament on Dec. 19. The HPU offense
came alive in the second half, shooting 50 percent from the
field and hitting 16 of 19 free throws in the game. Alborz
led the Sea Warriors with 20 points, Walker hit a career-best
17 points, and Wolf put away 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
Nate Newall scored a game-high 26 points for the Weevils, including
the long distance three-pointer at the buzzer that forced the
teams into overtime.
HPU returned to the court the following day against Harding
University to beat the Bisons, 67-65. Towne led the Sea Warriors
with 16 points, and Lee contributed all around, with 10 points,
seven rebounds, three assists, and three steals. The Sea Warriors
defense forced 20 turnovers and grabbed a season-high 11 steals.
Returning from their holiday break, the Sea Warriors struggled
in their last preseason game on Dec. 29 against the University
of Indianapolis, which edged past them 70-66. HPU started the
game on a good note, shooting 67 percent in the first half
compared to 30 percent by the Greyhounds. The Sea Warriors
continued to dominate in the second half with a 7-0 run, but
the Greyhounds out-rebounded HPU, 38-28, which helped them
come back. Lee produced a career-high 26 points and four rebounds.
The Sea Warriors fell short in their conference opener on Jan. 3 against Grand
Canyon University, 54-49, at the Neal Blaisdell Center. The HPU basketball team
had a sluggish start, trailing 10-0 in the first half of the game, but Lee brought
HPU back into the game scoring 10 consecutive points. In the second half, the
game remained close with the teams tied at 40-40, but the Antelopes pulled away
with a 10-2 run.