HELENA, Mont. -- The NAIA’s No. 6-ranked Azusa Pacific had 5 players in double figures as the Cougars built up a double-digit halftime lead and coasted to an 83-62 victory over Montana Tech Saturday evening at the Carroll Classic in Helena. The victory, Azusa Pacific’s second in as many days, gives the Cougars a 2-0 start for the fifth time in the past 6 seasons.
Sophomore forward Alex Moore-Porter grabbed 6 of her 10 rebounds on the offensive boards, leading Azusa Pacific’s 36-30 rebounding edge that included 15 offensive rebounds. The 5-foot-10 sophomore transfer from Yakima Valley College scored 14 points to register her first career double-double in just her second game as a Cougar.
Junior center Kristie Hala’ufia followed her opening-night double-double that sparked Azusa Pacific to a 74-71 win over No. 6-ranked Carroll Friday night with a team-high 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field, including her first career 3-pointer.
Sophomore guard Michelle Byrd knocked down a pair of treys en route to a career-high 15 points, adding a game-high 4 steals for a Cougar defense that forced 22 Montana Tech turnovers. Sophomore guard C.J. Hill added 15 points in 29 minutes of action off the bench. Freshman point guard Briana Hall tossed in 13 points with 3 steals and a team-high 4 assists.
The Cougars improve to 2-0 on the season heading into a daunting visit to Jackson, Tenn., where it will take on 3 NAIA Top 10-ranked foes on consecutive nights from Nov. 20-22 at the Jackson Rotary Classic at Union University. Azusa Pacific opens the prestigious 3-day tournament on Thursday, Nov. 20, with a 9 p.m. Central tip-off against 2007 NAIA champion Lambuth (Tenn.). The Cougars also take on the NAIA’s No. 3-ranked Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) and top-ranked Union (Tenn.), as well.