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Defense Does It

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December 21, 2002
Micah McDaniel
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Azusa Pacific 80
Trinity Christian 74

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Azusa Pacific turned up the defensive pressure forcing Trinity Christian (Ill.) into committing 34 turnovers en route to an 80-74 win on the second day of the 2002 Cal Baptist Christmas Classic in Riverside.

Azusa Pacific, which scored the final 6 points of the game to put the game away, finished with 23 steals.

The Cougars opened up a 15-point (67-52) lead with 8:42 to play when Trinity Christian’s senior center Kara Bruxvoort went to work. She led Trinity Christian on a 22-7 run late in the second half, scoring 10 points in the run including a reverse layup under the left side of the basket that tied the game at 74-74 with 1:56 to play.

Azusa Pacific led for most of the night, failing to hold a lead or at least a tie for just 1:30 of the game. But it wasn’t until freshman forward Lindsey West sank 1-of-2 free throws with 1:35 to play that the Cougars pulled ahead to stay with a 75-74 lead

Sophomore forward Kelsey Hudson added a bucket 44 seconds left to give Azusa Pacific a 77-74 lead. Junior guard Candis Regan sank three free throws in the final 15 seconds to seal the win.

Hudson finished with 21 points to lead the Cougars, and Regan added 16 points on 10-of-11 free throw shooting. Junior guard Marie Dyk tallied 13 points, including a pair of three-pointers, and junior guard Nicolette Dresback collected a game-high 5 steals, 7 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists. Trinity Christian was led by Bruxvoort’s 26-point, 13-rebound effort. She also had 5 blocks.

Azusa Pacific used a 15-4 run midway through the first half to take a 29-20 lead with 5:57 to play in the period, then scored nine straight points in a 39-second span to take a 44-30 lead with one minute to play. Trinity Christian answered with three points in the final 19 seconds to cut the Cougars’ halftime lead to 44-33. Hudson led all scorers at halftime with 12 first-half points. Bruxvoort registered 10 points and nine rebounds in the first half, although she was tagged with her third foul with just over a minute to play in the half.

Hudson, who shot 61 percent (14-for-23) from the field and averaged 16.5 points per game, was named to the all-tournament team.

With the win, Azusa Pacific improves to 3-8 on the season and has won three of its past four games, while Trinity Christian drops to 5-9.