Cougars Bury Biola in Second Half

Bryce Sloan had 11 points and 3 steals for the Cougars. (Photo by Duane Barker).

By Tim Peterson

(Glendora) – Azusa Pacific went on a 20-6 run to open the second half and turn a close game into a rout in an 87-69 win over Biola Wednesday night before a raucous crowd at Felix Events Center.

Leading 38-32 at the half Ken West made a three-point play, George Reidy hit a three and Nate Kleppe knocked down back-to-back treys to trigger a Biola time out. By the time the dust had settled the Cougars had a 58-38 with 15:13 left in the second half.

Ken West hit two threes and finished with 11 to spark APU. (Photo by Duane Barker).

It was a deficit in which Biola could never recover as the Cougars eventually went up by 26 with just over six minutes left and cruised to the 18-point victory.

The first half was much different. The game was tied seven times and there were three lead changes.

Justin Hemsley led Azusa Pacific with 9 points and West hit a pair of three pointers and scored 8 as the Cougars led 38-32 at the break. Bryce Sloan added 5. Biola stayed with the Cougs throughout the half. Daniel Esparza led the way for the Eagles with 15 as he nailed two threes.

The Eagles felt they were right where they needed to be down just six but the Cougars came right out of the gate and blitzed Biola in the second half and that was all she wrote. APU landed the knockout blow in the first five minutes.

Kaleb Taylor battling inside. (Photo by Duane Barker).

Azusa Pacific had five players in double figures. Hemsley led the team with 14 points as he hit 4 of 6 from three-point land. McKelary Robertson had 12 and buried two threes. West and Sloan each scored 12 and Hayden Gray scored 10. The Cougars were 12 of 33 from beyond the arc and shot 36 percent. They shot 50 percent from the floor overall.

For Biola Esparza took scoring honors with 24 and Erik Howlin finished with 13. No other Eagle was in double figures. Biola shot 46 percent from the field.

Biola out rebounded APU 33-30.

With the victory the Cougars improved to 14-6 overall and 9-4 in the PacWest Conference. Biola fell to 12-7 and 7-5.

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