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Lions suffer setback

Vanguard drops rare home loss, as Azusa Pacific uses its size to score conference triumph Thursday night.

January 13, 2011|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza, david.carrillo@latimes.com

Azusa Pacific converted the extra chances as each of its starters finished in double figures. Kristie Hala'ufia, a 6-foot-2 center, recorded 15 points, tying her with Michelle Byrd and Briana Hall for the team lead.

Despite losing the physical battle inside early, the Lions hung in there. They only trailed the Cougars, 30-28, after Chelsea Alfafara nailed a wide-open three-pointer with 3:22 left in the first half.

The Lions failed to score again before halftime. The Cougars closed out the first half on a 9-0 run and took control with a 39-28 lead.

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The shooting woes continued for Vanguard at the start of the second half. On the Lions' first four possessions, they missed three field-goal attempts and turned the ball over once.

Dating back to the first half, Vanguard went almost 51/2 minutes without any points. Alfafara knocked down her third three-pointer to end the drought and help the sophomore guard record 13 points.

It turned out to be a frustrating evening for Davis. He picked up a technical foul four minutes into the second half.

"Thank you!" Davis told the official before pleading to another member of the officiating crew.

An animated Davis actually sparked Vanguard after it went down by a dozen when Hall converted one of two free throws.

The Lions went on a 9-2 spurt, thanks to five straight points by 6-foot forward Molly Pfohl. The senior cut the deficit to five, the closest Vanguard got to Azusa Pacific in the second half.

Pfohl, who scored a game-high 19 points on seven-of-11 shooting, made a three-pointer with 12:14 left to play. The Cougars' lead was back down to six, but they could not overcome a depleted roster.

"That's a lot to overcome," said Davis, who is hoping to get good news on guard TJ Goddard, who will get an MRI today on her knee.

Golden State Athletic Conference

Azusa Pacific 79, Vanguard 70

APU – Hala'ufia 15, Hall 15, Byrd 15, Sadler 14, Moore-Porter 12, Williams 4, Ellis 3, Kenny 1.

3-pt. goals – Moore-Porter 1, Hall 1, Byrd 1, Ellis 1.

Fouled out – None.

Technicals – None.

VU – Pfohl 19, Alfafara 13, Boyd 13, Beavor 10, Burns 10, Arriola 5.

3-pt. goals – Alfafara 3, Boyd 3, Pfohl 1, Beavor 1, Arriola 1.

Fouled out – None.

Technicals – Davis.

Halftime – APU, 39-28.

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