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Cougars Nip Master's

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January 4, 2003
Micah McDaniel
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Azusa Pacific 90
The Master’s 86

AZUSA, Calif. – Jeff Staniland’s 3-pointer with 33 seconds left gave Azusa Pacific an 88-86 lead, then a pair of Caleb Gervin free throws with 9 seconds left put the game away for the Cougars in a 90-86 GSAC win over The Master’s College.

The Cougars held a 10-point (72-62) lead with 7:22 to play when the Mustangs began to chip away at the deficit. They climbed all they way back to take their first lead (86-85) since the 10:28 mark on a pair of Keron Wilkerson free throws with 59 seconds left. In all, the teams exchanged leads 18 times.

That’s when Staniland buried his 3-pointer from the corner, his second of the half, to give the Cougars their 88-86 lead with just 33 seconds remaining. On the ensuing possession, Wilkerson drove the key, but Brett Michel deflected his errant pass into the hands of Gervin, who was fouled. Gervin converted both free throws to put the game away.

Gervin finished with a team-high 24 points, hitting 8-of-17 shots from the floor, including a quartet of treys. It was his fourth time in the past 5 games that he eclipsed the 20-point barrier.

The Cougars seemed to assume early control opening up an early 8-point (16-8) lead just 7 minutes into the game. They led 26-18 with 6:41 to play when the Mustangs went on a 16-4 spurt to assume a 34-30 lead with 3:51 to go. That was their largest lead of the night, and it was short-lived as the Cougars went into the locker room with a 42-39 advantage.

The team’s then exchanged leads 10 times over the first 10 minutes of the second half, the final coming on a pair of Danny Rosales free throws with 9:07 to play. His free throws sparked a 10-0 Cougar run in which Rosales and Gervin did all the scoring, getting 5 points apiece, and the Cougars had their largest lead (72-62) of the night.

Azusa Pacific committed just 7 turnovers, while forcing The Master’s into 24 give-a-ways. The Cougars converted the 24 turnovers into 31 points, while the Mustangs answered with just 5 points off the 7 Cougar turnovers.

Four Cougars finished with double-figures, led by Gervin’s 24. Ladrick Simon finished with 17. Michel had 16, spearheaded by a trio of treys, to go with 8 rebounds. Staniland chipped in with 11.

With the win, Azusa Pacific improves to 11-2 overall, 3-0 GSAC. The Master’s drops to 11-2, 1-1.