Warriors pull away from Azusa Pacifica

Larissa Hensley and Kelsie Sampson each scored 13-points to lead NAIA 7th-ranked Westmont to a 66-52 women’s basketball win over Azusa Pacific on Thursday night at the Felix Events Center in Azusa.

Hensley added seven rebounds while Sampson pulled down four boards.

The game was played as an exhibition by the Cougars but is a countable game on the Warriors’ record.

The Warriors started out the game with a 10-0 lead on back-to-back three-pointers by Esther Lee (8 points, 3 assists) and two layups by Sampson. Azusa Pacific never quite caught the Warriors, but did pull to within two (43-41) with 14:49 to play in the second half.

Over the next six and one-half minutes, Westmont produced an 18-0 run. Sampson started the run with a layup before Jillian Wilber (5 points) struck from beyond the arc for three. Celina Gougis (4 points) added a layup and then Tugce Canitez (11 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists) added five points on three free throws and a layup. Another layup by Sampson, a jumper by Gougis and a jumper by Wilber finished off the run and gave the Warriors a 61-41 lead with 7:21 to play. The Cougars got no closer than 14 points the rest of the way.

Azusa Pacific was led in scoring by Amanda Sims with 14 points and six rebounds, Sullivan Ziegler with 12 points and four assists, and Hannah Kenny with 10 points and four assists.

Westmont will return to action on next week when they travel to Montana for a pair of games. On Friday, November 16, the Warriors will take on Montana Tech in Butte at 6:00 p.m. PST. Then the Warriors travel to Helena to take on Carroll on Sunday, November 18 beginning at 3:00 p.m.