FULLERTON, Calif. – Senior center Matt Moore recorded his first-ever collegiate double-double, tallying career-highs of 24 points and 11 rebounds, to lead the NAIA’s No. 6-ranked Azusa Pacific to a 98-63 GSAC victory over Hope International.
Making their first-ever appearance in the Hope International’s newly constructed Darling Pavilion, the Cougars were seemingly lethargic in the opening 10 minutes of the game. However, a 17-2 run, in which 6 different Cougars scored in a 7-minute stretch, moved Azusa Pacific out to a commanding 34-12 lead with just under 4 minutes left in the first half.
As Azusa Pacific began to stretch its lead and take control of the game, Cougar Coach Bill Odell then begin to sub freely. All 11 Cougars played in the first half and every one of them eventually scored. Moore, a second-year reserve who is known more for his physical play under the basket, took over the second half, scoring 20 points from a variety of spots on the floor as the Cougars pushed their cushion to as much as 37 on several occasions before settling for the 35-point victory. Moore was 8-for-8 from the floor in the second half while collecting 7 rebounds in the process. Overall, he registered his 24 points in just 18 minutes of play.
In fact, no Cougar played more than 23 minutes and freshman Nate Pratt played a career-high 12 minutes, collecting 4 points and 2 assists for his night’s work. Fellow freshman Kasey Myers recorded a season-best 5 points to go along with 5 assists and 3 rebounds in 14 minutes of play. Seniors Ladrick Simon and Jeff Staniland each tossed in 15 points before sitting out the majority of the second half.
Hope International was paced by Justin Evans’ 15points.
With the victory, Azusa Pacific improves to 18-3 overall and 10-1 in the GSAC to remain in a tie for first place with the NAIA’s top-ranked Concordia, which downed Vanguard by 22 at home tonight.