Highlights at bottom of story
AZUSA, Calif.-- On Tuesday the Cougars’ shooting was downright scary. On Friday the NAIA’s No. 13 ranked Azusa Pacific used a three-headed monster to defeat San Diego Christian (14-6, 3-5) 94-60 to extend its winning streak over the Hawks to 24.
Azusa Pacific (13-5, 6-2) more than doubled its shooting percentage (22.9) from its win over Point Loma Nazarene with a 53.8 percent effort, thanks in large part to the trio of Amber Williams, Amanda Sims, and Briana Hall.
“We talked about executing offensively and I felt great about that. We shot the ball great, and I was very pleased to get as balanced of scoring as we did. It’s hard to go against a triple-headed monster like that,” said Hardeman.
Hall led the offense, scoring 21 points while dishing out 11 assists to finish with a double-double. The senior guard also registered seven steals in the game on top of shooting 9-of-15.
Williams was once again dominant as she had 21 points and 14 rebounds in addition to nailing all seven of her free throws. Sims complimented Hall and Williams on the wing, finishing with 19 points, six rebounds, and four assists.
On the defensive end Azusa Pacific did well, forcing 21 turnovers while out-rebounding the Hawks 45-28. The Cougars held San Diego Christian under 40 percent from the floor and with their size forced the Hawks to settle for 22 3-pointers (6-22).
“Defensively we played well...we got a little happy and stopped guarding people [with the big lead]. We tried to make them earn what they got,” said Hardeman. “On the boards we have people who battle. They know when shots are going up. We tell our bigs to view every shot as a pass to you and they just go for it.”
Azusa Pacific held a lead from start to finish, pushing its advantage to as many as 38. In the first half the Cougars nailed their first five shots, three by Williams, to grab an quick 10-4 lead. But early on the Hawks’ sharp shooting, kept it close. At the half Azusa Pacific was up 45-34 and shot 66.7 percent and hit 4-of-8 3-pointers. In the second half Hall opened the scoring with a layup and followed with a jumper. Later Annie Fredrickson started a 20-4 Cougar run by burying two free throws to make it 66-48 with 11:55 to play.
Six minutes later Hannah Kenny capped the spree with a jumper in the key to stretch Azusa Pacific’s lead to 84-52.
Then with just a few minutes left to play and the result well in hand Hardeman emptied his bench before the Cougars improved to 8-0 at home this season with a 94-60 win.
VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS (filmed and edited by Rob Small)