First leg in Hawaii smooth for women, rough for men

Women’s Basketball

Top Performers

APU: Miriam Zabinsky 25 pts, 7 reb, 4 ast

BYU-H: Bry Tatupu-Leopoldo 11 pts, 2 reb, 2 ast

APU kicked off the three-game island series with a 68-46 win over the PacWest’s second-place BYU-Hawaii Seasiders on Thursday night.

The Cougars turned their 35-31 halftime lead into a commanding double-digit lead in the opening minutes of the second period, cruising to the 22-point win over the Seasiders.

Miriam Zabinsky and Kelly Hardeman carried the APU offense, combining for two-thirds of the team’s scoring. Zabinsky added seven rebounds and four assists to her game-high 25 points while Hardeman pushed the Cougars ahead early with her 21-point first-half performance.

Men’s Basketball

Top Performers

APU: Troy Leaf 26 pts, 3 reb, 3 ast

BYU-H: Pablo Coro 23 pts, 3 reb, 4 ast

The No. 14 Azusa Pacific Cougars fell to the No. 17 BYU-Hawaii Seasiders 92-78 in the teams’ first meeting of the season.

The first half was a back-and-forth fight for control featuring six lead changes until BYU-Hawaii established command in the final minutes. The Seasiders closed the half with a 13-0 run and 48-32 lead, leaving the Cougars ice-cold from the field in the last five minutes of the period.

BYU-H maintained control through the duration of the second half, never allowing APU within single digits.

Pablo Coro led the ‘Siders with 23 points, going 5-for-8 from beyond the arc. The team collectively shot 43.5 percent from 3-point range and 57.1 percent from the field overall. They out-rebounded the Cougars 42-29, coming away with 15 second-chance points.

APU senior guard Troy Leaf led the game with 26 points. Austin Dyer had a standout 14-point performance in the loss. The freshman forward has averaged 2.8 points per game this season.

The loss brings the Cougars to 10-2 in the PacWest, 17-3 overall.

The No. 16 California Baptist Lancers also dropped a matchup in Hawai’i on Thursday to Chaminade, which means each of the PacWest’s top three teams (APU, BYU-H, CBU) has two losses.

APU still has one game against BYU-Hawaii and two versus CBU in the coming weeks.

The Cougar teams will continue their trip at Hawai’i Hilo for Saturday afternoon’s double-header. For live updates, be sure to follow us on Twitter at @ClauseSports.