Cougars collapse to close Crossover Classic


Sophomore forward Kelly Hardeman launches one of her twelve attempted threes over senior forward Betsy Kingma in the loss against Seattle Pacific.
Photo by Kimberly Smith

In the final game of the West Region Crossover Classic, the Azusa Pacific women’s basketball team fell Saturday to No. 21-ranked Seattle Pacific 83-74. The Cougars led by as many as 13 points in the first half until the Falcons responded with a run that eventually put them up by as many as 13 in the second half.

Cougars sophomore forward Kelly Hardeman went 12-of-25 shooting for a team-high 29 points and added nine rebounds. Hardeman hit one of her four three-pointers to cut the gap to single digits with 4:44 to play. The gap remained within single digits for the remainder of the game, and the Cougars pulled within four points by way of another Hardeman three with 44 seconds left. However, then a free throw from Falcons junior guard Suzanna Ohlsen and two from senior forward Katie Benson, who posted game-highs in points with 31 and in rebounds with 14, sealed the game.

The Falcons chipped away at the Cougars’ 25-12 lead with 10:34 remaining in the first half. The lead slowly evaporated from the Cougars and the Falcons finally tied the game at 31 with 2:54 left to play in the half and never looked back from there. After taking a 33-31 lead with three minutes to go in the first half, the Falcons didn’t give up the lead for the rest of the game.

After posting 57 percent from the field the previous night, the Cougars shot 40.6 percent Saturday compared with the Falcons’ 48.5 percent. SPU also won the rebounding battle, recording 47 rebounds to APU’s 33.

Junior guard Katie Powell scored a season-high 11 points, shooting 4-of-5 from the field, three from beyond the arc. Junior forward Sendy Valles posted double figures in points for the third straight game, scoring 11 points and grabbing seven boards. Junior guard Allison Greene had an off night, shooting two-of-12 from the field and dishing out seven assists.