With both teams sealing a victory over Dominican, Azusa Pacific basketball continues its dominance
Azusa Pacific basketball has been dominant all season long and Saturday was no different. Both men’s and women’s basketball were able to continue their winning ways with big wins over Dominican Penguins. The men pulled ahead to a 98-76 victory while the women fought hard for an 89-72 win.
Men’s basketball lost two games consecutively on Dec. 2 and Dec. 4. Those were the last two losses for the squad. It has been more than two months since men’s basketball hasn’t sealed a win and the confidence level for this squad has been through the roof.
However, with that confidence has come a collective calm. In practice, the Cougars have remained humble and have constantly been reminding themselves that every win is earned and not given. Going into Saturday’s match against Dominican, the attitude was no different as they looked for their 16th straight win.
The Cougars looked to dominate in the first half and dominate they did. Offensively, the Cougars were suffocating and gave the Penguins no room to breathe. Consistently nailing buckets from all over the floor, the Cougars shot an efficient 53 percent including 12 three-pointers in just the first half. APU scores 53 points in the first half to go into halftime with a 16 point lead.
Although APU’s offense didn’t live up to its first-half performance in the second half, it was still more than enough to get the victory. Two standout seniors were able to lead the way as Selom Mawugbe was just one rebound from a double-double with 18 points and nine rebounds. Jake Spurgeon also played with vigor as he dropped 16 points with four rebounds and three assists.
Men’s basketball’s next game is against Academy of Art on Thursday at 7:30 p.m in the Felix Event Center.
Although women’s basketball suffered a close loss against Hawaii Pacific on Feb. 10, they didn’t let that shake their confidence as they continue on in this very successful season. Coming into this match against Dominican, defensive basketball shined through early on. The Cougars only allowed 11 points on 15 shots in the first quarter in comparison to their early offense which yielded 23 points on 39 percent shooting.
At the half, APU held a 22-point lead as they found themselves up 55-33. This has been a reoccurring theme for this squad throughout the season where discipline has been a necessity. With big leads comes big responsibility and the Cougars have had to remind themselves all year long that even when they find themselves ahead, the mentality needs to be the same.
Going into the second half, the Cougars were able to keep the Penguins at bay as they attempted to fight their way back into the contest. Scoring 24 points in the final quarter, which was also the only quarter in which APU was outscored, Dominican gave an honest effort to try and claw their way back into the game but it was too little too late.
APU pulled away with the win thanks to some big performers. Senior Savanna Hanson was all over the place on the offensive side of the ball as she took 16 shots and dropped an incredible 27 points in 29 minutes of play including five three-pointers.
Junior Laura Pranger, freshman Molly Whitmore, senior Daylee Hanson and senior Cierra Roufosse also contributed as the Cougars relied on their offensively skilled players to seal their 11th win in their last 12 games. Another great performance from the women’s basketball team, they hope to continue this momentum into the PacWest tournament as they have just four games remaining.
Their next contest is against Academy of Art on Thursday at 5:15 p.m in the Felix Event Center.