APU Has a Grand Time in OT
By Tim Peterson
March 7, 2013 • 415 views
B.J. Porter knocked down three free throws in regulation to tie it at 60 and then buried a huge three in overtime as Azusa Pacific beat Grand Canyon 78-71 Saturday night at the Felix Event Center.
The Cougars outscored Grand Canyon 18-11 in overtime to put it away. Jared Zoller scored the first bucket in OT and then Porter hit a trey the next time down the floor to give Azusa Pacific a 65-60 lead. It was an advantage the Cougars never relinquished. Troy Leaf hit a three to make the score 70-64 and a Sharif Watson jam made it 72-65. A breakaway slam by Zoller with 12 seconds left to make the score 77-71 iced it.
Both teams were slow coming out of the gate. Mid way through the first half it was 13-11 APU. The Cougs still led 29-26 at the half but neither team could get much momentum going offensively. Leaf had nine and Zoller had eight for APU while Jerome Garrison led Grand Canyon with eight.
The Antelopes, 23-5 overall and tied for first in the Pac West at 14-3 coming in, went on a run in the second half. They turned a 41-37 deficit into a 47-41 lead with a 10-0 spurt. Blake Davis hit back to back threes to ignite the surge. The lead held up until there were seven seconds left in the contest when Porter was fouled on the three point attempt. He nailed the first two and then Grand Canyon Coach Russ Pennell called time out. Porter’s last free throw bounced high in the air off the rim and then fell through the net as the Felix Event Center erupted. Braylon Pickrel then missed a three at the other end for Grand Canyon as time ran out.
The Cougars had all the momentum and proved it by scoring the first five points of overtime and then going on to victory. Leaf led all scorers with 25 points including four from long range. Porter had 19 and hit three three pointers but his biggest three came from the free throw line. Watson and Zoller with 12 and 11 repsectively.
For Grand Canyon the loss was bitter as they lost a share of the Pac West Conference title with Dixie State. Killian Larson and Joshua Lowery both scored 15 points and Garrison added 13. The Antelopes shot just 35 percent from the field compared to 44 percent for APU.
The Cougars finished 9-8 in conference and 12-13 overall.