Big day from Dragovich helps Panthers to fifth straight win
ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University men's basketball team began the New Year's festivities early, defeating visiting Hamline University (Minn.) 79-65 in a holiday eve matinee at the Hutton Center on Saturday afternoon. The Panthers closed out 2011 on a five-game winning streak, including three in a row at home.
Chapman (9-4) kept the Pipers at a safe distance for most of the game after building a double-digit lead late in the first half. Hamline (4-5) led just three times early in the contest before senior G Brandon Lin's three-pointer with 15:12 left in the first half gave the Panthers the lead for good at 12-10. Chapman extended its lead to 14 at 38-24 with 41 seconds left on a bucket from sophomore F Nick Dragovich before going into halftime with a 10-point advantage.
Hamline never got closer than eight points in the second half as the Panthers used a 12-2 run midway through the final period to extend their lead to 19 – the biggest of the day. Dragovich scored seven of his game-high 21 points during that second-half run to lift the Chapman offense. Dragovich's 21 points were a career-high and done on 10 of 11 shooting from the field. He added three assists.
Chapman shot over 58 percent (14 of 24) from the field in the second half and out-rebounded the Pipers 36-26 in the game.
Lin scored 18 points including a pair of three-pointers and grabbed five rebounds. Senior F Ben Ricard earned his third double-double of the season (and second consecutive) with 15 points and 12 boards. Senior PG Andrew Avalos had five helpers and a pair of steals.
Hamline was led by senior G Mike Cambell who scored 18 points and had six steals.