Fullerton, CA- After falling behind by 10 points in the first ten minutes, Hope International woke up and produced a 27 point swing to beat Arizona Christian 70-53 on Tuesday. Junior Brittany Bauman scored a game high 21 points which included 18 points in the first half.
The game started out as a Bauman versus ACU's Stephanie Brimhall grudge match. Brimhall scored the first four points of the game before Bauman answered with a jumper. Brimhall countered with another two points before Bauman knocked down her first three pointer of the night. Brimhall poured in four more points and Bauman connected on another three pointer.
Six and half minutes into the contest with Arizona Christian up 12-8, only two points had been scored by someone not named Brimhall or Bauman.
With 10:46 left in the half, the Firestorm (5-18, 0-9 GSAC) had pushed the lead to 18-8.
The first Royal to score not named Bauman was Junior Marissa Rendon- who hit a pair of free throws. Those free throws sparked a HIU comeback as the Royals (19-5, 7-2 GSAC) used a 14-2 run to grab their first lead. Bauman scored five points during that stretch including the three pointer to give Hope International the actual lead.
But ACU had more fight left as they tied the score a total of three times before grabbing back the lead and rebuilding a lead of three points (31-28 with 3:35 to go before the half).
Junior Krystyn Jacobs converted a jumper in the paint with just under 90 seconds left in the half to pull HIU within one.
Bauman had one more three left in her before the break as she would move HIU ahead 33-31 which turned out to be the half time score.
Along with Bauman's 18 points, ACU's Brimhall with 10 points was the only other player to reach double digit scoring in the first 20 minutes.
To start the second half, the game stayed close. In fact, all the way up to the 10:40 mark Hope International only held a 45-40 edge.
Over the next two minutes, HIU doubled their lead and reached a double digit advantage for the first time in the game. ACU scored a few seconds later before Senior Andrina Rendon converted a layup and ensuing free throw to push the Royals out to an 11 point edge.
After another A. Rendon basket, Hope International would not allow Arizona to get any closer than that 13 point difference.
A. Rendon (13 points) and Jacobs (8 points) both had big second halves to help secure the HIU win as they finished with 16 and 12 points respectively.
Senior Shawna Staves led the rebounding charge with 11 boards.
Head Coach Bill Crammer commented after the game, "We started slow tonight. The girls were tired playing our third game in four nights and it showed in the first half. Bauman and Jacobs carried the offense tonight while Staves and A. Rendon came alive on the boards in the second half. I was proud of our effort in the second half. We are looking forward to the opportunity to play Westmont on Saturday and are expecting a tough contest."
The Royals (now #15 in the NAIA) will make their way up to Santa Barbara to face off with #11 Westmont on Saturday at 5:30 pm. Arizona Christian will stay in California and face off with Vanguard on Thursday in Costa Mesa. Their game will actually start at 7:30 pm as they are switching start times with the men.