AZUSA, Calif. — Junior guard Troy Leaf erupted in the second half, scoring 18 of his game-high 30 points and kickstarting an 11-4 run after halftime to put Azusa Pacific up for good in a 75-69 win over Eastern New Mexico University in a non-conference matchup Wednesday night.
Tyler Monroe added eight points on 3-of-4 shooting, and three others added seven as the Cougars (5-4) took over matters in the second half.
Rodney Blackmon scored 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting to lead the Greyhounds (4-5), including a 3-pointer early as part of an 8-2 run to open the game. Cornelius Cammock had 16 points and six rebounds, including six points during an 8-0 run that gave ENMU its biggest lead at 27-18 with 8:17 left in the first half. Leaf then scored five points during a 9-2 run, and the teams traded buckets to go into the half 35-32 Greyhounds.
Kevin Stafford opened the second half with a 3-point play on an assist from Leaf to give the Cougars the lead.
Azusa Pacific took its biggest lead as Jared Zoller’s 3-pointer sparked a 9-2 run that ended with a Leaf layup and a 63-53 lead with 6:47 left.
The Cougars reached a double-figure lead with 3:46 to play, but the Greyhounds came back with 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions by Blackmon, Kyle Lantz and Blackmon, respectively, to make it 70-67 with 2:20 to play.
But ENMU didn’t score again until Blackmon made a layup with seven seconds to play, and by that time the Cougars had salted the game away with a 5-for-6 effort at the free throw line.
Lawrence Domingo added 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting for Eastern, which is off for the rest of 2013 and returns to action Jan. 1 at Colorado School of Mines.
Azusa Pacific is off until it hosts Holy Names Jan. 4.