SAC Men’s Basketball Begins 2021-22 Season with Three Games

SAC Men’s Basketball Begins 2021-22 Season with Three Games

SANTA ANA, Calif. - The Santa Ana Men's Basketball team had a busy first week of the 2021-22 season as they faced San Diego Mesa in their home opener and followed that by hosting the annual Dana Pagett Tipoff from November 4-6. 

Although the Dons went 0-3 during the week, the young team got some much needed experience and made improvements in each game. 

SAC was defeated 84-55 by a solid San Diego Mesa team on Monday night to start the week. The Dons struggled on both ends as they turned over the ball 23 times and shot just 31.6 percent while allowing the Olympians to shoot 51.5 percent from the field and 45.5 from behind the arch. 

In game two, SAC hosted Glendale in a low scoring affair. The Dons made big strides on the defensive end and held Glendale to 58 points on a 32.2 shooting percentage. But unfortunately, Santa Ana's shooting woes continued as the Dons managed to shoot just 23.3 percent as they fell to the Vaqueros by a score of 58-51. 

In their last game of the week, the Dons looked much improved, going back and forth with a tough Long Beach team throughout the game. 

Even though Dons held the lead with as little as 4:28 remaining in the second half, they just could not pull out a win, falling to the Vikings 78-69. 

After three games, freshman guard Ian Hietala leads SAC in scoring with 9.3 points per game with a season high of 14 against Long Beach. Right behind him is point guard Zeké Bennett, who posted 8.5 points per game while leading the team in minutes with 24.5 per game. 

As for the Don big situation, Ben Ahinaquah and Salif Cisse seem to be the best candidates to play consistent minutes. 

Ahinaquah is averaging 6.3 rebounds per game and showed what he can do with an impressive 15 point, nine rebound game against Glendale. And Cisse has used his 6'9 frame well in the first few games, grabbing an average of 5.3 rebounds and scoring 4 per game in about 17 minutes a game. 

The Dons will continue their season with another home game on Wednesday against  El Camino, who is 0-3 after losing their first three games as well. Tipoff is set for 4:00 p.m. and can be livestreamed here.