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The One That Got Away

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Photo by Joe Reinsch

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Published
January 15, 2013
By
Chris Baker
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AZUSA, Calif.-- The Azusa Pacific women’s basketball team erased a 14-point first-half deficit, but was outscored 8-6 in overtime to fall 67-65 to California Baptist on Tuesday night. The Cougars, who got career-nights from Maddy Barrett and Kelly Hardeman, led by as many in four in the extra period, but the Lancers closed on a 6-0 run to snap Azusa Pacific’s season-long four-game win streak.

The Cougars had chances to win the game both at the end of regulation and overtime, but a series of missed chances sent the game to overtime, before the Lancers clinched the win on a steal with 3.5 seconds to play in overtime in the programs’ first-ever Pacific West Conference meeting.

Barrett scored a career-high 20 points in her fourth game of the year, pulling down nine rebounds and tallying three steals, while Hardeman posted her first career-double double with 10 points and 10 rebounds despite an off night from outside. The Cougars shot just 34.4 percent from the floor after a brutal start that saw them hit just 1-of-10 to open the game, trailing 15-2 at the 13-minute mark. Azusa Pacifi, however, crawled back and grabbed its first lead of the night on a Sullivan Ziegler lay-up at the 4:38 mark in the second half.

After CBU tied the game at 59-59 the Cougars had the ball with 15.1 seconds left, but failed to get off a good look, sending the game to overtime. In the extra period the Cougars went ahead by four points after Lauren Gilster buried two free throws. But a CBU trey, lay-up and free throw were eventually the difference as Azusa Pacific dropped its first game of 2013.

The Lancers got a game-high 21 points from Simone Holmes, and had four players finish in double figures. Azusa Pacific forced 18 Lancer turnovers, resulting in 22 points, but couldn’t hold off the home team in a game that saw six lead changes and eight ties. The 67 points were the most Azusa Pacific has allowed since a 68-65 loss to George Fox (Ore.) on Dec. 18, dropping the team’s record to 0-7 when allowing opponents to surpass the 60-point threshold.

The battle of the boards was slightly in the Cougars’ favor, with Azusa Pacific pulling in 45, compared to CBU’s 43. Each team struggled from deep, combining to go 7-of-32 from 3-point range. Hardeman, who leads the team in 3-pointers, finished with an 0-of-6 clip from beyond the arc.

Ziegler finished with a season-high 10 points, but was held to one assist for her lowest total of the year. The Cougars logged only six assists, also a season-low, on 22 makes. Katie Powell registered seven points off the bench, and Hannah Kenny totaled nine points, ending her five-game run with double-digit points.

The loss drops Azusa Pacific (7-6) to 3-2 in conference play, while the Lancers (10-3) improve their PacWest record to 4-1. The Cougars tough road stretch continues on Monday when they take on 19th ranked (NCAA Division II) Grand Canyon (Ariz.) in Phoenix at 1 p.m. (MST).