Women’s basketball uses 10-0 run to defeat rival Azusa Pacific

Biola women’s basketball defeats Azusa Pacific 51-49 in the last game between the long-time rivals.


Tyler Otte

Freshman guard Amy Freet fights for position against an APU defender. | Tyler Otte/THE CHIMES

Alexandra Campos, Writer

Eagles topple No. 12 Cougars thanks to strong second half

With only seconds left in the legendary rivalry between Biola University and Azusa Pacific University, senior Charrise Reece’s steal and layup ended the game — giving the Eagles women’s basketball team a 51-49 victory on Tuesday night. Reece and senior Emily Drews both had nine points to go with sophomore Adijat Adam’s 13 points. Biola’s victory snapped Azusa Pacific’s six-game winning streak in this Golden State Athletic Conference game at Chase Gymnasium.

Despite Biola facing the NAIA No. 12 Azusa team, the Eagles treated this like any other game.

“Our goals are to have consistent play for 40 plus minutes,” head coach Bethany Miller said. “We need to minimize the moments that we go without scoring and also cut any runs that they make short.”

Biola was able to maintain the lead for most of the first half until two 3-pointers by Azusa’s lead scorer senior Briana Hill put the Cougars in the lead. By the end of the half, the Cougars were leading the Eagles 26-22.

The Cougars proved to be a worthy opponent as they kept the lead by as many as nine points in the second half. Azusa’s Hall finished the night with 20 points while senior Amber Williams finished with 14.

“I knew we had to contain Amber Williams, because she is a good athlete,” said Adams regarding her opponent. “My thoughts were to contain her, contain the other shooters — because they really do have some great shooters — and to stay controlled.”

With 5:31 left in the half, Drews’ 3-pointer fired up her teammates and changed the momentum of the rest of the game.

Biola’s success in the second half came from their improved field goal percentage. In the first half the Eagles were only able to make 28.57 percent of their field goals compared to 40 percent in the second half.

“Our guards did step up during this game,” Adams said. “We came out stronger as a team and we beat APU.”

Improved shooting was all Biola needed to pull off upset

The last 20 minutes were crucial and the Eagles managed to hit 12 of 30 from the floor while Azusa made only four of 25 field goals the last half. The Eagles secured 41 rebounds the whole game compared to Azusa’s 37.

“Azusa is a very strong team, with a strong program,” Miller said before the game. “They are the number one team in the NAIA and they have proven themselves to be nationally competitive.”

It was Reece’s steal, fast-break and then layup that broke the 49-49 tie at the end to win the game. The Eagles improve to 13-8 on the season, including a 9-4 record at home despite a 5-6 record in the GSAC.

“Even though I made the last shot, it was more of a collective effort,” Reece said. “This game showed what we were all capable of.”

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