Over the past 12 games, Roberts is averaging nearly 19 points to go along with 7 rebounds, and few if any have found a way to stop him. In fact, if anything, he has slowed himself more than the foe, shooting a paltry 60-percent at the charity stripe for the season, but even tonight, against Hope International, Roberts had everything going his way, canning 12-of-17 free throws as a part of his game dominance.
Coming off an emotional and impressive victory over the NAIA’s No. 5-ranked Concordia University Saturday night, Azusa Pacific seemed to be still wallowing in a celebratory mood and had a difficult time shaking a Hope International squad that was mired in a 15-losing streak. It took Roberts’ and his 17-first half points to get the Cougars a 37-27 halftime lead, scoring 8 of Azusa Pacific’s final 11 points of the half.
Azusa Pacific maintained its double-digit lead throughout the second half, assuming as much as a 22-point advantage in the closing minutes before settling on the 18-point victory, the Cougars’ 20th straight over Hope International.
Neither team shot the ball particularly well, but for the second consecutive game, Azusa Pacific dominated the backboard, out-rebounding Hope International, 52-26. In fact, the Cougars had more offensive rebounds (29) than Hope had as an entire team. As a result, the Cougars tallied 20 second-chance points while the Royals managed just 4. Center David Burgess grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds, his third consecutive double-digit rebounding game. Over the past 8 games he is averaging 10.1 rebounds.
Senior reserve center Chidi Ajufo was 1 of just 3 Cougars to shoot over 50-percent, making all 4 of his shots, including a pair of dunks, to finish with 10 points and join Roberts as the only Cougars in double-digit points.
With the victory, Azusa Pacific improves to 16-8 overall, 9-5 in the GSAC. Hope International falls to 1-20 overall, 1-13 in the GSAC.