By Tim Peterson
(Glendora) – Azusa Pacific used a 17-3 run to take an 18 point halftime lead and went on to beat Academy of Art 77-62 Thursday night at Felix Event Center.
Will Ferris hit a pair of threes and led the team with 10 points in the first half. Selom Mawugbe had nine and Darien McClain scored eight. Stefan Milivojevic led the way for Academy of Art with eight points.
The Cougars opened the second half with a quick 8-2 run to go up 49-25. Academy of Art responded with an 11-0 run to cut the lead to 13, but the Cougars came right back with six straight to take it back to 19. Mawugbe airmailed an Academy shot into the stands prompting a timeout.
Mawugbe then threw down a jam and a little runner inside later in the half to put the Cougars up 68-53. But Academy of Art refused to go away cutting the advantage down to nine at 68-59 with 3:55 left. That was as close as Academy of Art would get.
The Cougars took control down the stretch as Mawugbe scored again and McClain made a nifty move and knocked down a jumper to put the game away with a 1:20 left.
Mawugbe played a huge part in the Cougs win finishing with 20 points and owning the paint with nine rebounds. McClain ran the show at point guard with 19 points and four assists while Ferris added 15. Jake Spurgeon was also in double figures with 14.
For the Academy Milivojevic took scoring honors with 16 and Andrija Blatancic scored 11. There simply wasn’t enough firepower as they were the only players in double figures. Academy of Art was just 5 for 20 from three point land. APU wasn’t much better from behind the arc going 6 for 18 but the Cougars still had enough to get the W.
Azusa pacific improved to 18-10 overall and 15-6 in the PacWest Conference while Academy of Art fell to 10-16 and 10-11.
Next up for the Cougars is a home game against Dominican Saturday night in the last game of the regular season before the PacWest Tournament gets underway next week.