Azusa Pacific women’s basketball too much for Cal Baptist University in PacWest play
By Obrey Brown
RIVERSIDE – If Cal Baptist University’s women’s basketball team had upset in mind against visiting No. 18 Azusa Pacific University, a devastating second quarter run killed off those hopes.
The Cougars (17-2, 8-1) scored a 77-55 win over the Lancers (8-8, 5-3) in battle of highly-placed PacWest Conference teams at CBU’s sparkling Events Center on Saturday night.
CBU took an 11-9 lead when Georgia Dale hit a pair of free throws. Seconds later, Caroline Wich took Dale’s feed for a game-tying basket (11-11).
“We were OK at that point,” said CBU coach Jarrod Olson, “but they had that extra gear.”
Azusa Pacific, among the NCAA Division II leaders in steals and forcing turnovers, turned four CBU turnovers into baskets.
In less than a two-minute span, Abbigail Goodsell’s driving layup and a breakaway basket, Zoe March’s 15-footer, Casey Wortley’s inside hoop and a Goodsell 3-pointer lifted the Cougars to a 26-13 lead.
Experience counts, said Wortley, who had a game-high 21 points.
Azusa returned all five starters from last season while CBU lost three starters.
“I feel like we’re their old team,” said Wortley. “They’re in the same position this year as we were last year.”
Wortley, who averages 8.2 points, scored nine straight points in a 2:27 span to close out the opening half with a 39-22 advantage.
“The key is for us is to stay patient, to stay positive,” said Olson.
That might have been tough after a first half in which Azusa claimed 19 turnovers to build its lead. To gain experience, Olson said, “we have to have a lot of tonights.”