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Women's Basketball - Thu, Jan. 12, 2017 - posted by Seth Preuss
Melody Gauthier hoisted six triples and scored a career-best 19 points against ACU (photo by Liza Rosales)
Melody Gauthier hoisted six triples and scored a career-best 19 points against ACU (photo by Liza Rosales)
Arizona Christian University
Hope International

FULLERTON, CA – Hope International hosted Arizona Christian on Thursday, January 12 to kick off a six-game home stretch that will end on February 2 against William Jessup. The Royals played well in three of the four quarters and led by as many as 17 before falling to ACU in regulation.

ACU came out with heavy full court pressure early and tried to push the pace in the first half, but the Royals were able to keep their composure and control the tempo in the first half. HIU did a good job as a team to take their time and made good decisions with the basketball – that focus showed up on the box score as HIU burned ACU with 20 points in the paint, 15 points off ACU turnovers, and seven second-chance points. The Royals also shot 67% from the floor while committing only six turnovers to lead 44-28 at the half after exploding for 25 points in the second quarter.

Everything that HIU had done well in the first half become a struggle in the second as ACU delivered a gut-check in the third quarter, outscoring HIU 22-14 in the period and dictating the pace of play throughout. After turning the ball over only six times in the opening half the Royals coughed up the basketball six times in the third quarter alone and spotted ACU nine points off of those giveaways.

The Royals watched their lead evaporate in the fourth quarter after the Firestorm scored 11 unanswered points to tie the game at 62-62. A trey from Melody Gauthier put the Royals back in front but HIU couldn't hold the lead – the Firestorm outscored HIU again in the fourth quarter and blitzed the Royals 46-26 in the second half to win by four. HIU grabbed half as many rebounds in the final period and watch ACU celebrate their first win in program history against HIU on the Royals' home court after a 74-70 comeback win.

Gauthier provided a spark for HIU off the bench in the first half with four treys before the break and knocked down two more in the second half to finish with 19 points – her 19 off the bench were a new career best and the best offensive performance for HIU against the Firestorm. Emily Terwilliger got another double-double with 15 points and 12 boards and Jazzmyn Oliver started up a new double-digit streak with 12 points in the loss.

The Royals are still looking for their first GSAC win and fall to 4-10 and 0-5 in conference this year after the loss. ACU improved to 9-6 overall and 3-1 against GSAC teams this season with the win. The Royals have a week to prepare for Menlo next Thursday, Jan. 19 before hosting No. 6 Vanguard on Saturday, Jan. 21.

W - Basketball
Overall GSAC Streak
0-0 (.000) 0-0 (.000)