Both squads were able to take down Notre Dame de Namur on Saturday continuing their stellar seasons
Azusa Pacific women’s basketball dominated Notre Dame de Namur on Saturday, cruising to a solid 71-43 win for their sixth straight victory. With big offensive contributions coming from players throughout the lineup, the team’s 15th win of the season was truly a team effort.
In the first quarter, the Cougars’ offense shot an average 43 percent from the field and only capitalized on two three-pointers. The real bright spot for this team early on was their defense. Not only did Notre Dame de Namur struggle to make many shots, but they were also stifled before they could even get quality shots off. APU headed into the second quarter leading 18-10.
It would be more of the same for the remainder of the first half as APU extended their lead to 35-20, holding Notre Dame de Namur to just another 10 points. With a similar shooting performance in the first frame, APU kept that solid shooting going into the second quarter.
In the second half, the Cougars were able to keep up their stellar play on the defensive side of the ball. Although the offense came out slow in the third frame shooting just three for 15 from the field and scoring only eight points, Notre Dame de Namur struggled to break the code of APU’s defense.
With APU ending the game on top by 28, it was clear that the true might of this APU team comes from the way they can lock down opponents defensively and take high-quality shooting out of any opponent’s arsenal. Offensively, four different Cougars scored double digits including Daylee Hanson (16), Molly Whitmore (13), Savanna Hanson (11) and Paige Uyehara (10).
The Women’s basketball team will play their next game in La Mirada to take on their rival Biola on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 5:30 p.m.
Saturday’s match against Notre Dame de Namur was a tale of two halves for APU. The Cougars finished the first half tied, before pulling ahead in the second half to win by 20 points. APU walked away with a 74-54 victory and their tenth straight win.
Notre Dame de Namur has had a rough go of it this season as they are 2-19 overall including 1-13 in conference play. That didn’t matter to the Cougars as they looked for their 15th victory of the season. Every win is important and every opponent must be respected no matter their success or lack thereof.
In the first half, Notre Dame de Namur kept up with the talented Cougars squad, shooting eight for 25, although they only shot three for 12 from beyond the arc.
The Cougars were less efficient offensively, scoring an equal 21 points, but missing six more shots. APU went eight for 31, including a less than ideal four for 22 from the three-point line. The Cougars just couldn’t find any rhythm offensively, that is until the second half when their offense came alive.
With a tied game at halftime, one of these two squads looked to come out dominant in order to pull ahead in the final 20 minutes. While Notre Dame de Namur’s shooting improved slightly, the Cougars found their stride and took control of the game.
Shooting 53 percent from the field in the second half gave the Cougars confidence, and with that confidence came success. The Cougars also improved to 44 percent from the three-point line in comparison to their 18 percent three-point shooting performance in the first half.
Three experienced seniors of the squad led the way — Selom Mawugbe, Jake Spurgeon and Ben Taufahema each scored double digits with 19, 18 and 12 points respectively. The Cougars pulled ahead to a 20-point lead before the final horn sounded, giving the Cougars their 15th win of the season and 10th win in PacWest play.
Men’s basketball will be on the road in La Mirada to take on Biola on Saturday, Feb. 1. Tip-off will be at 7:30 p.m following the women’s game against Biola.