FULLERTON, Calif. -- Azusa Pacific won its third straight Golden State Athletic Conference game, defeating Hope International on the road, 71-56, Tuesday night at Darling Pavilion in Fullerton. The NAIA’s 11-ranked Cougars posted their fifth double-digit victory over a GSAC team to move into a share of the conference lead with a 7-1 record in GSAC play.
Junior guard C.J. Hill scored a game-high 17 points, her 13th time scoring in double-digits this season, and junior forward Alex-Moore Porter followed suit by scoring 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting, including 2-of-3 from 3-point land.
Sophomore center Amber Williams came off the bench to score 12 points and a career-high 15 rebounds, including 6 offensive boards. Sophomore point guard Briana Hall ran the Cougar offense efficiently with a game-high 8 assists, her highest single-game assist total since this year’s season opener. She scored 9 points and added 3 steals of her own, and for the second time in 3 games Hall was turnover-free.
Through the first 12 minutes of the game, neither team led by more than 5 points, but Azusa Pacific went on a 14-5 run over the last 8 minutes of the first half to take a double-digit lead, 32-22, into halftime. The Cougars maintained their double-digit lead through the entire second half, using back-to-back layups from junior center Kristel Eddington to complete an 18-6 run that gave Azusa Pacific a 22-point lead, its largest of the game, at 62-40 with 6:13 to play.
After shooting a chilly 34 percent (12-for-35) from the field in the first half, Azusa Pacific warmed up to nearly 50 percent after halftime, hitting 15-of-31 in a 39-point second half. The Cougars controlled the boards throughout the game, finishing with a 46-36 rebounding edge. Leading the way was Williams and her 15-rebound performance, and Eddington contributed 7 rebounds, along with 10 points, in 17 minutes of action off the bench.
With the win, Azusa Pacific improves to 14-4 overall and moves into a share of the conference lead with Point Loma Nazarene at 7-1 in GSAC play. Point Loma Nazarene’s Tuesday contest against California Baptist was postponed until Wednesday, Jan. 20, due to a power outage at Point Loma Nazarene’s San Diego campus. Hope International falls to 6-12 overall, 1-7 in GSAC play.
The Cougars are back in action for a 5:30 p.m. contest against San Diego Christian on Thursday, January 21, at the Felix Event Center.