AZUSA, Calif. –- The NAIA’s No. 8-ranked Azusa Pacific scored the game’s first 15 points in just 5 minutes of play and went on to pound visiting St. Ambrose University of Davenport, Iowa, 103-59, in the Cougars’ final nonconference game of the season.
Caleb Gervin scored 12 of his game-high 25 points in the first half, including 5 during the Cougars’ 15-0 run out of the gate. Azusa Pacific led by as much as 25 (48-23) in the opening half and never allowed the Fighting Bees any closer than 22 in the second half.
Azusa Pacific shot a fine 52% (37-for-71) from the floor and owned the glass, out-rebounding St. Ambrose 57-37. Ladrick Simon posted a double-double, tallying 22 points to go along with a season-high 14 rebounds. For Simon it was his fourth 20-point outing in the past 5 contests.
Jeff Staniland added 15 points while Ryan Dillon came off the bench to toss in 11 points in his first action in 2 weeks. Dillon missed the past 3 games with a pulled hamstring. All 12 Cougars played, including sophomore transfer De’Verion Mackey, who tossed in 6 points in his first 4 minutes as a Cougar. Mackey, who transferred from California Baptist, missed the first half of the season with a knee injury.
With the victory, Azusa Pacific improves to 9-2 on the season and returns to Golden State Athletic Conference play next Thursday (Jan. 2) when the Cougars visit Christian Heritage College in El Cajon, Calif., for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off. St. Ambrose falls to 6-8 and continues its California swing at Vanguard University Monday (Dec. 30) at 7:30 p.m.