ORANGE, CA – In their first ever match-up as SCIAC members, the Chapman men's basketball team posted a 72-65 win over Caltech on Wednesday evening.
The first several minutes of the game saw the teams trade baskets until the 12:44 mark on the scoreboard. With the home team holding a 16-14 lead, they increased that lead by going on a quick 8-2 scoring run during the next 87 seconds. Trailing 24-16, Caltech chipped away at their deficit and eventually took the lead at 28-27 when Pan Wang hit a jumper with 5:02 left until halftime.
Caltech eventually grew that lead to 35-31 with 2:25 on the clock when Collin Murphy nailed two foul shots. Those were the last points of the half for the Beavers as Chapman finished the half with seven straight in taking 38-35 into the locker room.
The start of the second half saw Chapman continue to hold a slim lead during opening moments. The Panthers took their largest lead of the evening at 54-43 when Justin Young hit a jumper with 11:37 remaining. Similar to their first half resiliency the Beavers clawed their way back into the contest.
With 5:11 left in the game Bryan Joel nailed a pair of shots from the charity stripe to get Caltech within one possession of the lead at 59-57. The Beavers had two possessions to either tie or take the lead but couldn't grab it. Chapman padded their lead to five points when Colin Zavrsnick hit a three-pointer with 3:57 left.
Caltech stayed with striking distance until the game's final minute when the final critical turn in the game occurred. With Chapman holding a 66-64 lead with just over a minute left, the Panthers appeared to have a committed a shot clock violation. However a Taylor Hamasaki jumper was deemed to have hit the rim and Justin Young rebounded the missed jumper and had an easy put back to give Chapman a 68-64 lead with 55 ticks remaining.
The Beavers turned it over on their ensuing possession but Chapman gave the ball right back. With 25 seconds left Emezie hit one of two foul shots to make the score 68-65. After a Caltech foul, the Panthers' Brendon Rider hit two free throws with 23 seconds left to push the home team's lead back to five. Caltech couldn't convert on their next possession and the Panthers were able to salt away the game with two more free throws.
Edwards scored a team best 18 points for the Beavers. It is the 12th time this year the senior has led the team in scoring. Emezie scored in double figures for the fourth straight game as he tallied 16 points in 39 minutes. Joel contributed a 12-point evening.
Chapman was led in scoring by Zavvrsnick's 18-point effort.
The Beavers return to the Braun Athletic Center on Saturday night for their final weekend home game of the season as they entertain Cal Lutheran at 7:00 p.m.