Career-highs from seniors helps Chapman avenge loss to Eagles
ORANGE, Calif. – Seniors Brandon Lin and Ben Ricard both earned career-highs in points as the Chapman University men's basketball team returned home on Tuesday night to defeat visiting West Coast Baptist College 77-57 at the Hutton Center. It was the Panthers' first home game since Dec. 31 and marked their fourth straight victory on their own floor.
Chapman (13-6) avenged its earlier loss to the Eagles three weeks ago, 66-64 in Lancaster. Prior to that game the Panthers had never lost to West Coast Baptist, compiling a 20-0 record all-time.
The Panthers improved to 5-1 at home this season and have won nine of their past 11 games overall.
Lin scored over 20 points for the second consecutive game, setting a new career-best with 22 points on 9 of 17 shooting and making a pair of three-pointers. Meanwhile, Ricard equaled his previous career-high with 23 points and earned a double-double with 11 rebounds. The team leader in field goal percentage again shot with high accuracy, making 10 of 13 attempts from the floor.
The Panthers gave themselves a sizeable cushion right out of the gate, leading 15-2 after the first six-plus minutes of the game. West Coast Baptist (12-13) rallied to cut the Panthers' lead to three points on two separate occasions. The Eagles got as close as 22-19 with 7:21 left in the half, but would never challenge for the lead. The Panthers closed out the half on an 11-3 run thanks in part to a two-point buzzer-beater from Lin giving Chapman a 39-25 advantage at the break.
Chapman maintained a double-digit lead throughout the second half and stretched it to 23 – the largest of the night – in the final minute of the game. The Panthers led 65-53 with 5:30 left in the game before capitalizing on a 12-1 run over a span of 4:45 to put the game out of reach.
Junior F Colin Chadwick set a career-high, leading all players with 14 rebounds. Chapman out-rebounded the Eagles 40-25 in the game.
Eagles' G Akeem Smith had a big night offensively with 21 points, including four three-pointers and added a team-high five rebounds. Colton Cochran also reached double-digits with 15 points for West Coast Baptist.
The Panthers' nationally-ranked defense was at it again on Tuesday, holding their opponents to under 60 points for the third straight game and ninth time this season. Chapman currently ranks No. 23 in Division III scoring defense, allowing just 60.3 points per game.
by Doug Aiken
Sports Information Director