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Cougars Move Into First

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Photo by Ken Williams
Azusa Pacific moved into a tie for first place in the PacWest standings with a 76-63 win over CBU.

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Published
January 24, 2014
By
Chris Baker
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AZUSA, Calif.-- The Azusa Pacific women’s basketball continued its impressive start to Pacific West Conference play, snapping California Baptist’s five-game winning streak with a 76-63 victory in the Felix Event Center on Friday night. The Cougars had four players score in double digits, and nearly got a triple-double from Allison Greene to move into a tie atop the PacWest standings at 9-1.

Azusa Pacific led from start to finish, and did a good job of snuffing any Lancer (8-9, 6-5) runs to hold a double-digit edge for the final 17 minutes of the game. The Cougars led by as many as 16 on the night, and turned 16 CBU giveaways into a 21-5 advantage in points off turnovers.

“I thought it was an awesome team effort tonight. I was really happy with the intensity throughout the game, and the willingness to get loose balls. I thought there were three or four times where they looked like they were about to make a run, and none of our girls looked worried or rattled. They responded really well and I thought it showed tremendous character,” said head coach T.J. Hardeman.

Greene led a balanced offensive effort for the Cougars with 14 points, and eight assists. She also added nine rebounds and a game-high five steals. Kelly Hardeman and Maggie Dumphy tied for a game-high 16 points, grabbing nine and eight rebounds respectively.

Hardeman, who had missed the previous three games, nailed four 3-pointers and added four steals, three blocks, and two assists in her return. Dumphy, the PacWest’s No. 2 shot blocker, also tallied three swats while going 8-of-14 from the field.

Sullivan Ziegler was the Cougars’ fourth 10-point scorer, shooting 5-of-6 from the floor, while dishing out four assists. The Cougars shot just 40.8 percent in the game, but held CBU, which had scored 70+ in four straight, to just 29.7 percent.

Katie Powell scored eight points, and hit a corner 3-pointer from the corner to give the Cougars a 58-41 lead midway through the second half. Powell also nabbed three steals on the defensive end, one of three Cougars to do that in the game.

“They’re a really tough and well-coached team. We knew we’d have to out work them and we did that. We were so active tonight. I thought we were playing with an added level of intensity, and although they had a few girls get some baskets, we did a really good job defensively against them,” said Hardeman.

The Cougars also dominated the inside, outscoring the Lancers 26-14 in the paint, with sophomore center Lauren Gilster scoring eight of those on 3-of-6 shooting. Elena Ala recorded six rebounds, four points and a steal off the bench as the Cougars improved to 7-2 at home.

The Cougars, however, will now embark on their longest road trip of the season. Azusa Pacific will travel to Hawai‘i for a three-game set against BYU-Hawaii, Hawai‘i Pacific, and Chaminade, before facing California Baptist in Riverside. The Cougars will return to the Felix Event Center on Feb. 13 against BYU-Hawaii.