LA VERNE, Calif. – Azusa Pacific took a out measure of frustration at the expense of Johnson & Wales University, pounding the Wildcats into early submission with a 98-66 nonconference victory Saturday evening on Frantz Court on the campus of the University of La Verne.
Twenty-four hours after suffering a disheartening conference loss at The Master’s College, the Cougars returned to the hardwood and put a pounding on the overmatched and unsuspecting Wildcats who had to endure an onslaught of a season-high 16 Cougar 3-pointers and a relentless offensive attack that was hoping to erase the memory of Friday night’s inconsistent play.
Junior Dominique Johnson and freshman Marshall Johnson led the Cougar attack with team-highs of 14 points, and were 2 of 5 Cougars to reach double figures in scoring among the 11 different Cougars who scored.
Azusa Pacific fashioned an 18-2 run midway through the first half to take a commanding 32-13 lead capped by a Dominique Johnson 3-pointer. The Cougar defense tightened the screws during the run, forcing JWU to miss 8-of-9 shots and commit 4 of their eventual 21 turnovers. Seven different Cougars scored in the game-turning run while Johnson & Wales went nearly 10 minutes without making a field goal.
The Cougars led by as much as 21 in the first half as freshman Mike Meza led the way, scoring 9 of his career-high 12 points in just 4 minutes of first-half action. Meza knocked down 4-of-5 shots in the opening frame, including a 3-pointer that gave Azusa Pacific an early 14-8 lead.
Junior guard Mike Danielian, who finished with 12 points, hit a pair of treys in the opening half, including one that gave Azusa pacific a 47-28 lead at the break.
Johnson & Wales, an NAIA Division II school out of Denver, Colo., never closed the margin in the second half, and Azusa Pacific kept the pedal to the mettle, leading by as much as 35 points at 95-60 following a Marshall Johnson free throw.
All-GSAC center David Burgess finished with 10 points and 6 rebounds, while senior guard Kimarley Williams tallied 8 points to go along with a game-high 9 rebounds. Azusa Pacific out-rebounded Johnson & Wales by a comfortable 50-38 margin and collected 21 boards at the offensive end which produced 21 second-chance points.
The game was played at the University of La Verne to accommodate Azusa Pacific’s winter commencement which was being held in the Felix Event Center.
With the victory Azusa Pacific improves to 6-3 overall. Johnson & Wales falls to 5-8.