Lady Cougars Cruise to Win

By Andy Villanueva

(Glendora) – Azusa Pacific rebounded Saturday afternoon with an emphatic 90-60 win over PacWest Conference opponent Dixie State. The win improves the Cougars to 7-4 in conference play heading into the toughest part of their schedule. 

“Basketball is the funnest game in the world,” said APU head coach T.J. Hardeman. “You go to Hawaii, you have to have a good time. I like the way we are defending and they have to guard us too.”

Miriam Zabinsky led the charge for the Cougars as she poured in 17 points. Zabinsky’s ability to fade away and hit jumpers against the Red Storm helped APU to pull away early in the game.

The Cougars early on established an inside presence as they fed Maggie Dumphy (8 points) for the first-four points of the game. That opened up the intermediate jumpers that allowed Kelly Hardeman (17 points) and Zabinsky uncontested shots.

“We always start off want to focus inside,” said Hardeman. “We run enough stuff to get Dumphy and Hardeman some looks down low.”

After sweating-out their victory 73-61 which saw the starters carry the load. The Cougars were able to get much needed help from their bench as they score 31-point after scoring zero points in last weeks win.

Dixie State’s cold shooting (29.6% from the field) and 14 turnovers played a big part in getting down by 20-points as the first half ended.

“I felt defensively we made good strides in Wednesday night’s loss,” said Hardemann. “We talked about continuing taking pride in our defense. To be on the level our team wants to be it has to be there defensively.”

A 31-11 run to end the first half helped the Azusa Pacific coast into the break as they took advantage of Dixie State’s inability to take care off the ball as they scored 15 points off the turnovers.

It didn’t get any better for the Red Storm after the intermission. Dixie State did start quick in the second half as Chermayne Moore (13 points) hit a three-pointer and Taylor Mann (4 points) put in a rebound for a 5-0 run.

The fifteen-point deficit was the closest the Red Storm would get as Zabinsky and Hardeman continued to stay hot from the field. Especially Zabinsky who went 6-of-8.

As a team the Cougars shot well going 32-of-68 for the game hurt Dixie State’s chances of making any sort of comeback.

With the win, Hardeman is still undefeated against the Red Storm in six attempts.


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