When Concordia men's basketball Coach Greg Marshall set up the Eagles' schedule, he noted two games that would test their early progress.
First, in early December, there was Northern Arizona, an NCAA Division I team. Result: Concordia 73, Northern Arizona 67.
Then, Tuesday, there was Division II Cal State San Bernardino, which was on a 10-game winning streak.
"We were quite anxious to find out what the result was going to be, and I was really pleasantly surprised," Marshall said.
Result: Concordia 87, CS San Bernardino 76.
It was the eighth consecutive victory for the Eagles (12-1), who tied the school record set in 1985-86. Concordia has only lost at Claremont-Mudd, 75-72, two days before playing Northern Arizona.
"We're in a good swing now, I guess," Marshall said. "Good things are happening. Any time you play hard and get along, you have a great chance of winning. It's been fun."
Before the season, Marshall thought the Eagles' post players would be solid. It turns out they have been outstanding.
Pharoah Jones is only 6 feet 3, but at 226 pounds he is able to make room for himself inside. "He's like a spark plug," Marshall said. "He's really hard to guard inside. I think one inch out must be worth about three inches up, because he scored 20 against San Bernardino and they had three 6-9 kids.
"(Jones) finds a way to get it done."
Jones has found his way to an 18.3-point average to lead the Eagles. The other starting post player, Jeff Putnam, a slimmer 6-7, is averaging 13.6 points and 10 rebounds.
Guard Craig Martin is averaging 15 points and reserve guard Tarik James is averaging 13.
Concordia plays host on Friday to Le Tourneau, an NAIA Division II school in Longview, Tex., and Dominican Saturday, before opening its Golden State Athletic Conference schedule Tuesday at home against Cal Baptist.
Southern California College Coach Bill Reynolds is having less luck with his team.
The Vanguards (8-6) haven't been able establish enough consistency for Reynolds' tastes.
"We've got to play much more solidly or we will have a long league season," he said.
Chris Kostoff, Chauncey Woolridge and Kevin Carlson are each averaging better than 15 points and John Naro is averaging 12.5 but Reynolds is concerned about poor shot selection and play on defense.
"It looks like we have got balance," he said, "and I guess we do but we haven't been getting consistent play on both ends of the floor from some of these guys.
"Our tendency is to be satisfied with a perimeter jump shot rather than work for a better shot or drive to the basketball and open up a shot for someone else."
The Vanguards play host to Menlo at 7:30 tonight and Holy Names College Saturday before opening conference play Tuesday at Point Loma Nazarene.
The Chapman women's team had mixed results at the UC San Diego tournament last week. After beating Elmira (N.Y.), 84-66, in the first round, the Panthers lost their next two games to Millikin (Ill.), 63-56, and Middlebury (Vt.), 70-53.
Against Elmira, all-tournament selection Melody Earle scored 24 points and Deb Nilsen had a tournament-record 14 assists. The Panthers shot 54.5% from the field but couldn't sustain that pace in the next two games.
Against Middlebury, the Panthers shot a season-low 29.8%.
"I think we know now that we can play with anyone we face at this level," Coach Mary Hegarty said. "We were one of the best teams here, and could have won the tournament if we had shot the ball a little better."
Ila watch: The Orange County Sports Hall of Fame will officially open its Ila Borders exhibit with a ceremony at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the hall in Anaheim Stadium.
Borders, a sophomore pitcher for the Southern California College baseball team, made history last year when she became the first woman to win a college baseball game. Borders, from La Habra, beat Claremont-Mudd, 12-1, in her first appearance and finished the season 2-4 with a 2.92 earned-run average.
Borders' jersey, hat, glove and the first ball she threw in that game are featured in the exhibit.
Borders' sophomore season begins Feb. 1 with a game at Cal Poly Pomona, but she isn't expected to make her first start until Feb. 4 in a doubleheader at UC San Diego.
The Southern California College women's basketball team canceled a two-game trip to Florida this week because the trip was too expensive. Instead, the Vanguards will play in the Cal Baptist tournament, which runs today through Saturday. SCC plays Mid-America Nazarene (Kan.) at 2 p.m. in the first round. . . . The Chapman men's team starts a six-game stretch of road games Friday at the Whittier College tournament. The Panthers play UC San Diego next Wednesday, then have nine days off before traveling to the Bay Area to play Menlo and UC Santa Cruz. Chapman next plays at home Jan. 28 against UC Santa Cruz. . . . Bill Hamlin, kicker on Chapman's football team, was selected third-team NCAA Division III All-American. Hamlin, Redlands punter Tomek Mikler and Claremont receiver Mike Cook were the only players from California named to the team.