APU men’s hoops continues winning ways

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APU: Troy Leaf 22 pts, 4 reb, 3 ast, 3 stl

Dominican: Matt Hayes 28 pts, 12 reb, 2 stl

The Cougar men’s basketball team won 74-71 over Dominican at home Saturday afternoon.

APU led 30-28 after a tight first half. The Cougars went on a 20-0 run in the middle of the second half to pull away. However, the Penguins matched that with a 25-5 dash of their own in the last seven minutes that brought the game within two points in the final moments. A steal and two free throws from senior guard Troy Leaf sealed the game and the Cougars held on for the win.

“They’re hard to play against,” head coach Justin Leslie said. “They changed the game out there with the different lineups, and we didn’t adjust well.”

The win was APU’s 13th in a row. The Cougars have now tied for the third-best start in school history at 14-1.

Leaf recovered from a slow first half to be the game’s leading scorer with 17 second-half points.

“We didn’t do a very good job of getting Troy looks early in the game,” Leslie said. “He didn’t help himself, either, with turnovers.”

He registered 22 points to go along with three assists and four rebounds. Senior guard Robert Sandoval added 15 points and five assists.

“Troy was there when we needed him in that second half stretch, he’s a player,” Leslie said.

The Penguins were led by junior Matt Hayes, who posted a double-double in the loss (28 points, 12 rebounds).

The Cougars are at home to take on Academy of Art on Monday in a PacWest matchup.

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