SAN DIEGO, Calif.--- Point Loma handed the Pacific West Conference’s last unbeaten team its first loss of the season, hitting 10 3-pointers en route to a 69-61 victory over the Azusa Pacific women’s basketball team. The Cougars entered Friday night’s game riding an eight game PacWest winning streak dating back to last season, and led by as many as 14 before suffering their second consecutive loss in Point Loma’s Golden Gymnasium.
Azusa Pacific shot just 37.5 percent from the field, and just one game removed from sinking a season-high 12- 3-pointers, went just 4-of-14 from beyond the arc. The Cougars were outscored 41-33 in the second half, with Point Loma holding a 24-15 rebounding edge over the final 20 minutes of the game to help the Sea Lions hold a 20-8 edge in second chance points.
One of the bright spots for the Cougars was the continued strong play from Junior guard Katie Powell, and the impressive return by Allison Greene. Powell registered her second straight double-digit effort, and added seven rebounds to her 11 points. Greene, who feared she suffered a serious knee injury in Azusa Pacific’s road win over Dixie State, scored a team-high 16 points, and drained six of her 10 shots.
Maggie Dumphy was the only other Cougar to shoot over 50 percent from the field, scoring 10 points on a 5-of-9 effort. The freshman forward also pulled in seven rebounds and tallied four blocks. Valles was the fourth Azusa Pacific player to score double digits, tabbing 10 points and nine rebounds.
Azusa Pacific’s bid for an eighth straight PacWest win looked good after an early Cougar run. Azusa Pacific led 11-10 with 12:29 left in the first half before a 13-0 run over a four minute span put the Cougars up 24-10.
Greene sparked the run with her first 3-pointer of the game, and Dumphy followed that up with a jumper off of Powell’s first assist of the night. Greene then found Powell for a 3-pointer to give Azusa Pacific a 19-10 advantage, and a Greene and-1 layup made it a 22-10 game. An Annie Fredrickson jumper put the finishing touches on the run before the Sea Lions mounted their comeback.
Jordan Ligons ignited the PLNU spree with back-to-back triples to cut Azusa Pacific’s lead to 24-16. Valles answered with a jumper of her own, Point Loma responded with a pair of free throws, and Greene pushed the Cougars back ahead by 10 with 3:35 remaining in the frame. Point Loma, however, closed the half on a tear, scoring 10 unanswered points, capped by a buzzer-beating layup by Sydney Tonack to tie the game at 28-28 after 20 minutes of play.
The Sea Lions continued that run into the second half, outscoring the Cougars 11-6 through the first six minutes to go ahead 39-34. After the Cougars cut the deficit to three points, Point Loma jumped out to a six-point lead, which Azusa Pacific again cut down to three on a Valles triple.
Azusa Pacific tied the game at 56-56 on an Elena Ala free throw with 5:04 to play, and Point Loma responded with two free throws to go back on top 58-56. With the Cougars in striking distance Ligons drained a back-breaking 3-pointer, giving the Sea Lions a 67-61 lead with 2:08 remaining before a pair of free throws in the waning seconds sealed Point Loma’s sixth PacWest victory.
Azusa Pacific will have a chance to begin a new conference winning streak on Monday night when it welcomes Dixie State to the Felix Event Center for a 5:30 p.m. tip. The Cougars defeated the Red Storm 72-56 last weekend, and have won all three matchups with Dixie State since joining the PacWest in 2012.