Women’s Basketball

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Cougars Finish In Third

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Photo by Ken Williams
Kelly Hardeman's double-double lifted Azusa Pacific to a 67-54 win over Roberts Wesleyan on Saturday.

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Published
March 22, 2014
By
Chris Baker
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WINONA LAKE, Ind.-- The Azusa Pacific women’s basketball team closed its 2013-14 campaign with a 67-54 win over Roberts Wesleyan in the third place game of the National Christian College Athletics Association tournament. The Cougars led by two at the break, but behind Kelly Hardeman’s 10-point second half outscored the Raiders by 11 over the final 20 minutes of play.

Azusa Pacific shot 50 percent from the floor in the second half, and after Roberts Wesleyan took a 38-37 lead early in the frame, used an extended 28-13 run over 10 minutes of play to grab a 65-51 advantage and put the Raiders away.

Hardeman paced another balanced Cougar attack with 13 points and three 3-pointers, while Maggie Dumphy and Allison Greene each scored in double figures in the season finale. Hardeman added 11 rebounds to notch a double-double, and finished with two blocks on the defensive end. Azusa Pacific shot 46.4 percent from the floor, and held the Raiders to a 33.9 percent clip, including a 2-of-16 mark from beyond the arc.

Dumphy, the NCCAA West Region Freshman of the Year, had two blocks and three steals to go with her 11 points and four rebounds. Greene tallied 10 points, three steals, and two assists, while Sendy Valles finished with seven points, three assists, and two steals. The Cougar bench chipped in with 24 points, led by Annie Fredrickson’s eight point effort on 4-of-6 shooting in her final game with the program. Katie Powell scored six points on a pair of free throws, and Elena Ala had a game-high five assists and four points.

After going into the break with a 32-30 lead, Azusa Pacific found itself trailing 38-37 on a jumper in the paint from Marissa Sell with 16:33 to play. The Cougars, however, countered with a trey from Hardmeman, and never trailed again thanks to a 28-13 run with seven different players scoring in that span. The Raiders tied the game at 40-40 before a Lauren Gilster free throw put the Cougars back ahead 41-40.

Baskets from Dumphy, Ala, and Fredrickson pushed Azusa Pacific’s lead to 47-40, and after Roberts Wesleyan got to within three points, Joelle Tampien drained a triple to make it a 50-44 game. Minutes later Ala’s jumper gave Azusa Pacific its first 10-point lead of the day, and a bucket from Greene gave the Cougars a 14-point edge, their biggest of the game. From then on the Raiders never got back to within 10 points as Azusa Pacific logged its 21st win of the season.

Azusa Pacific closes the year with 20+ wins for the sixth time in the last seven years under head coach T.J. Hardeman, and the Cougars’ two national tournament wins this season are tied for the third most in program history.