The Cougars dominated, winning the game and the conference
On Thursday the Azusa Pacific women’s basketball team dominated the Academy of Art (ART U) Urban Knights, 77-47. The Cougars also clinched the PacWest conference with the win and improved to 23-4 on the season, with a 20-1 record in conference play.
From the opening tip-off, the Cougars started scoring and never looked back. They held the lead for 39 minutes and 46 seconds, with the other 14 seconds being a zero to zero tie.
ART U only had six players on their roster for the game, making it an uphill battle from the start. Then during the game, two of their players became ineligible due to fouling out and an injury, so the Urban Knights played the final minutes of the game with only four players on the court.
The Cougars put on a shooting clinic, shooting just over 46 percent from the field with an incredible 44-13 lead at the half. APU dominated all night, leading by as much as 46 points.
“If we wear down a team, we can fast break all night,” said junior Rachel Bozlee. “We have a team where we are all in good shape so if we fast break, that’s bucket after bucket after bucket.”
Defensively, the Cougars were on top of their game as well. In three out of the four quarters, the Cougars held the Urban Knights to under 10 points. ART U shot poorly in the first half, going 5 for 24 from the field including 2 for 11 from the three-point line. Combined, the Urban Knights went 18 for 60 during the game and 3 for 22 from beyond the arc.
However, the highlight of the night was the Cougars clinching the PacWest conference. Winning the conference at their home court was an incredible experience for the players and coaches, as well as fans in attendance. Although the sweet taste of victory is still fresh, there is work left to do.
“In the past, we’ve won the conference and then not done anything at regionals so this year we want to prove that we can do both and be successful outside of the conference,” said junior Savanna Hanson.
The Cougars have one more game left in the Felix Event Center against Dominican on Saturday, March 2 at 5:30 p.m. Since this is the Cougars last game before tournament play, this game will be very important and should be an exciting one no matter the positions of the two teams. This game will also have added meaning for APU’s seniors because it will be the final home game of their collegiate careers.