ORANGE, CA – After a tightly played first half, the Chapman men's basketball squad put together a stellar shooting second period en route to an 89-69 win over Caltech.
After the home team jumped out to an early 10-point lead, the final minutes of the opening stanza were back-and-fourth. There were four ties and three lead changes. During the last eight minutes of the half neither team held a lead larger than three points. Chapman eventually took a 37-36 lead into the locker room.
In the opening 20 minutes Caltech made more field goals (14-13) but Chapman connected on three more free throw attempts (9-6) in helping them gain their one-point lead. Both teams shot just over 48 percent from the floor.
The second half began in similar fashion to how the first half ended. For nearly the first five minutes the lead stayed slim for both teams. Caltech took a three point lead (40-37) with two jumpers from Lawrence Lee. From that point forward the tide shifted towards the Panthers.
With Caltech holding a 42-41 lead with 16:31 showing on the scoreboard, Chapman took the lead for good and grabbed the game's momentum by scoring nine straight points. After Caltech dwindled that deficit down to 50-45, the Panthers put a big blow into the Beavers hopes. Over the next 5:16 the Panthers scored 16 of the next 20 points in taking a 66-49 lead with 8:05 left in the game.
Caltech got their deficit down to 11 points on two occasions over the next several minutes but couldn't break within a single digit deficit.
During the second half Chapman connected on all but four of their 18 field goal attempts (77.8 percent). The home team went to the foul line 30 times during the final period where they connected on 23 of those attempts.
Lee had a spectacular game despite being in foul trouble. The first-year scored a team high 19-points in just 15 minutes. Lee hit eight of his 12 field goal attempts. A four-some of players – Andrew Hogue, Luke Lango, Bryan Joel, and Nasser Al-Rayes – all scored nine points for the Beavers.
Taylor Hamasaki, the SCIAC's second leading scorer, pumped in a game high 22 points to lead the Panthers.
Caltech's final game of the season is Saturday evening when they travel to Whittier for a 5:00 p.m. tip-off with the Poets.