Coach says APU must be physical

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card “I think the word is going around that, if you are physical with us, we don’t play as well,” longtime APU coach Bill Odell said Wednesday. “We are definitely a finesse team. “The word is, `Rough them up and see how they respond,’ and we did not respond well.” That is understandable. What is curious is how APU went from being ranked No. 3 to No. 2 after losing. APU (16-2, 7-1) and San Diego Christian (13-3, 7-1) are now tied for first place in the Golden State Athletic Conference. It was the first loss by APU to San Diego Christian in 16 years. The Cougars had defeated the Hawks 26 consecutive games. Odell said it was too early to say when Zea and Myers would return to action. Zea stretched ligaments in his left ankle, an injury sustained Jan. 7 at Concordia. Zea played the rest of that game, but has not played since. Myers suffered tendon damage to his left hand in a game last Saturday at Point Loma. Odell said the swelling has gone down but that Myers’ hand was twice its normal size a couple of days ago. The Cougars continue conference play tonight with a game at Fresno Pacific University (10-5, 3-4). Tip off is 7:30. The APU women, ranked No. 9 in the country, play at 5:30. The Cougars are 14-4 and 6-2. Fresno Pacific is 4-12 and 0-7. robert.morales@sgvn.com (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2213 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The word is out: Get tough with the Azusa Pacific University men’s basketball team and the Cougars can be had. San Diego Christian did just that Tuesday, and it came away with a 62-59 upset of the Cougars, the No. 3-ranked NAIA team in the country. APU on Tuesday was missing starting forward Scott Zea and backup point guard Kasey Myers because of injuries. That did not help the Cougars in the shooting department, as they shot just 39 percent. But San Diego Christian shot only 38.1 percent. So having Zea and Myers would have been nice, but it would not have helped the Cougars become more physical. “I think it is a mental toughness as much as anything,” Odell said. “They need to understand that some games they (the officials) are going to let it go a little bit and they need to respond in a positive way, work through it and not get their heads down and not shy away from it. “In the last couple of games, we stopped doing things because we were afraid of being hit almost. We got soft instead of responding in our own tough manner.” San Diego Christian was no slouch. Although the Hawks were unranked Tuesday, they were ranked No. 15 when Wednesday’s newest poll was released. last_img

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