The annual rivalry game between California Baptist University and Azusa Pacific University Feb. 7 saw the Van Dyne Gym at capacity as the Cougars brought both their own student cheering section and their cheerleading squad.
The rivalry game is always characterized by stiff competition and crazy fans, charging the atmosphere with team spirit and loyalty.
This year was no different as the men’s team faced the No. 19-ranked Cougars. This game went back and forth as the first half ended tied at 37-37.
The second half ultimately changed the game as the Lancers went on a 10-0 run, giving them some breathing room. The Cougars tried to play the fouling game late, but had no success as the Lancers knocked down clutch free throws.
This all resulted in an 87-80 victory for the Lancers, led by 25 points from guard Gelaun Wheelwright, junior sociology major.
Head coach Rick Croy said he was proud of his group.
“We got a chance to peak at the right time,” Croy said. “We haven’t played our best ball yet, so I think we’re going to keep coming.”
Trevonne Williams, junior sociology major and guard, said he thought the team got off to a good start in the first half and the desire to do better spilled over into the second half.
For the women’s game, the Lancers found themselves with a 7-point lead at half, which was as close as APU would get.
Right away in the second half, the Lancers began to pull away as they locked down defensively and stayed hot from beyond the arc.
The Lancers gained a blowout victory with a final score of 68-48.
Courtney Nelson, sophomore undeclared major and guard, said it felt good to beat their rivals.
“Definitely feels good, I’m not going to lie,” Nelson said. “Just the fact that we were able to come out strong, confident and complete everything we worked on was a good success.”
Jarrod Olson, head coach for the women’s team, said the women are beginning to mesh well, which assists them in achieving more wins.
“Things are starting to click a little bit; the ball is starting to move more,” Olson said. “We’re starting to find a good rhythm of late.”