SANTA CLARITA, Calif. – NAIA No. 11 Trevecca (6-3) fell 82-78 to No. 7 Azusa Pacific (11-1) in the GSAC Challenge on Friday.
Trevecca pulled ahead early in the first half 12-6 with 14:37 to go in the first half, but Azusa answered and tied the game at 12. Trevecca pulled ahead again, this time by seven (25-18) with 6:40 to go in the half. The Cougars rallied though and closed the half strong with a 18-7 run that game them a 36-32 lead at the break.
Trevecca tied the game at 40 and then again at 42 with 15:55 to go in the game, but Azusa rebuilt their lead and extended it to as much as 11 points (71-60) with 4:23 to go in the game. Trevecca mounted a rally though and cut the lead to just four points (71-67) at the 3:50 mark with a 7-0 run. After a Cougar bucket the Trojans cut the lead to just two points at 73-71 with 2:30 to go. After a Cougar free throw K.C. Van Atta tied the game at 74 with her fifth three-point basket of the game at the 2:09 mark. The Cougars pulled ahead again at 78-74, but Trevecca’s Mariska Reed stole a inbound pass with :44 seconds remaining and laid it in to tie the game at 78. Unfortunately that was all the scoring for the Trojans and the Cougars hit all four of their foul shots in the final seconds to claim the 82-78 victory. Trevecca did not lead again after Azusa took a 33-32 lead with :51 seconds remaining in the first half.
Coach Gary Van Atta said his team allowed Azusa back in the game with quick shooting, “I thought we got loose with the basketball and starting shooting it too early in the shot clock.”
“We got things together in the second half and I was proud of the effort in the first 15 minutes of the game and the final 10 minutes.” “We are young and that’s why playing these type of games are important, we’ll improve after this game.”
Jennifer Bognar and K.C. Van Atta scored 19 points apiece to lead the team in scoring. Mariska Reed (12), Christian Gibson (11), and Abby Lawson (10) all scored in double figures. Bognar produced a double-double with a team high 10 rebounds. Van Atta also added six rebounds and had a team high four blocks. Reed led the team in assists (4) and steals (5). Gibson had three steals.
As a team Trevecca shot 26-64 (40.6%) from the field, 8-20 (40%) from three-point range, and 18-26 (69.2%) from the foul line. Azusa had a 46-28 advantage in the points in the paint and points off of turnover categories.