AZUSA, Calif. – The NAIA’s No. 5-ranked Azusa Pacific used an 11-0 run midway through the first half to get control of the game and then put together another 7-0 run at the end of the half to scoot out to a double-digit lead and from there coasted in for an 80-57 Golden State Athletic Conference victory over Vanguard Saturday night before 950 in the Felix Event Center.
With the victory, Azusa Pacific moves to within 1 win of clinching at least a share of its tenth GSAC crown in the past 11 years and in the process clinches an automatic berth into the upcoming NAIA Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament in Kansas City, Mo (March 26-April 1)
Two-time All-GSAC guard Caleb Gervin scored 16 of this game-high 18 points in the first half to lead Azusa Pacific. He spurred the 11-0 run with a corner trey followed by a jumper and then led the half-ending 7-0 spurt with a dunk and another jumper.
Ladrick Simon added 12 points while Jeff Staniland and Ryan Dillon chipped in with 11 points apiece. Eleven of the 12 Cougars who played scored.
“We did a good job of making that extra pass against their zone,” said Cougar forward Brett Michel, who tallied 8 points, thanks in part to a pair of first-half 3-pointers. “We took care of business tonight and didn’t look ahead to Tuesday night’s game (at Westmont).”
Vanguard was paced by a trio of players who all scored 14 points – Conrad Adamczak, Leon Rosborough and Tim Burnette.
The victory is Azusa Pacific’s tenth straight over Vanguard and its 22nd in the past 27 meetings with the Lions.
With the victory, Azusa Pacific improves to 24-4 overall, 16-2 in the GSAC and maintains a game-and-a-half over Concordia for first place in the GSAC. Vanguard falls to 7-22 overall, 3-15 in the GSAC.