FULLERTON, Calif.-- The NAIA’s No. 12 ranked Azusa Pacific women’s basketball team had little trouble putting away the over matched and outnumbered Royals of Hope International with a 74-44 win on Saturday night.
Fourteen Cougars scored in the game, led by Amanda Sims’ 11 points, against a Royals team that had just seven players suit up. Hannah Kenny added 10 points, eight rebounds, and three steals in just 15 minutes of play to help Azusa Pacific (15-5, 8-2) win its sixth straight GSAC game.
"We played a lot of different combinations tonight," said head coach T.J. Hardeman. "It highlighted how deep we are. It's neat to be able to see different players playing [together]."
Hope International (4-18, 1-9) kept it as close as anyone could have expected, trailing by 16 with 11 minutes to play. But a 13-0 run sparked a stretch where the Cougars outscored the Royals 20-to-3 to before Azusa Pacific closed with a 74-44 win.
Briana Hall assisted on seven buckets and notched three steals in the game to go with her nine points. Azusa Pacific had just two players reach double figures (Sims and Kenny) but had seven players score five or more points. Azusa Pacific also out-rebounded the Royals 64-36, and shot just a touch under 40 percent from the floor (39.5). Maddy Barrett had a game-high nine boards, while Rebecca Roehrkasse pulled in seven off the glass and added four points, three assists, and a steal.
Azusa Pacific’s defense had a few rough patches throughout the contest, but still managed to hold Hope International to a lowly 23.8 percent clip from the field on just 15 field goals. Both teams were sloppy with the ball, combining for 42 turnovers (21 apiece).
Freshman Emily Nordberg had a season-high eight points, connecting on four of her six shots, and added a season-high five rebounds. Amber Williams had seven points and six rebounds in limited action. Whitley Brown drained two 3-pointers in the second half for a season-high six points.
With the win Azusa Pacific holds pat at third in the GSAC standings, but will have a chance to move up with a home game against second place Vanguard on Friday. But first the Cougars will have a rematch against a Biola team that nearly snuck away from the Felix Event Center with a win before falling 51-49.
"Biola will be very tough and Vanguard has a really good [back court]," said Hardeman. "But we feel confident having our floor general Briana playing and getting the ball to different players. Our outside players are starting to shoot the ball a lot better."
Tuesday's game time is slated for 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Biola's Chase Gymnasium, while Friday's tip is set for 5:30 p.m.