HONOLULU, Hawai’i-- After trailing 24-23 midway through the first half, the Azusa Pacific women’s basketball team used a lengthy 41-10 run over the balance of the opening frame and the beginning of the second half en route to an 80-54 victory over Chaminade on Monday night to close its three game road trip with a 3-0 mark.
The Cougars, who moved into a tie with Academy of Art for first place in the Pacific West Conference at 12-1, had 12 different players score, with junior forward Sendy Valles tallying a game-high 22 points. Allison Greene added 11 points and five assists, and sophomore center Lauren Gilster pulled in a team-high 10 rebounds in a game where Azusa Pacific out-boarded Chaminade by 20 (56-36).
Gilster pulled in seven offensive rebounds to help Azusa Pacific hold a 22-5 edge in second chance points, and led by as many as 33 in its third consecutive game with 80+ points. The sophomore finished with eight points, while Emily Nordbgerg added a season-high seven points to help the Cougar bench outscore Chaminade’s 36-16.
Elena Ala tabbed six points off the bench, while Lisha Elsenbach and Katie Powell tallied four points and three points respectively.
Azusa Pacific also dominated the paint, scoring 44 of its 80 points in the lane, while giving up only 18 points in the paint on the other end, with Annie Fredrickson logging six points and three rebounds.
The Cougar defense held the Silverswords to 30.9 percent shooting, and gave up just six points in the first 10 minutes of the second half.
Azusa Pacific grabbed an early 19-13 lead, but back-to-back 3-pointers knotted the score at 19-19. Cara Bomar, however, snapped the stalemate on the ensuing possession, knocking down a jumper to make it a 21-19 game with 7:10 left in the opening half.
Minutes later the SIlverswords took their first lead of the game, going ahead 24-23. The advantage, however, was short lived as the Cougars closed the frame on a 15-4 run to go into the break with a 38-28 lead. In the spurt Valles had six points and Ala scored four, with Greene and Elsenbach each chipping in with two points apiece.
In the first half Azusa Pacific out-rebounded Chaminade 30-17, with 12 of those coming on the offensive end to lead to 12 second chance points.
In the second half the Cougars extended their lead to 14 points at the first media timeout, getting four more points from Valles in that span. Out of the timeout Azusa Pacific scored five straight points to make it a 52-33 game with a Greene jumper and a Valles triple to put the junior over 20 points on the night.
The Cougars continued their run, going up 64-34 on an Fredrickson tip in. Azusa Pacific took its largest lead of the game at 80-47 on an Ela jumper with 2:01 to play before clinching its ninth win in the last 10 games.
Azusa Pacific’s leading scorer, Kelly Hardeman finished with just five points and five rebounds, and fellow starter Maggie Dumphy recorded four points, five rebounds, and two steals.
Azusa Pacific will return to action against California Baptist on Saturday before opening up a four-game home stand against BYU-Hawaii on Feb. 13.