ORANGE, Calif. – Senior Rob Nelsen scored 20 points as the Chapman University men's basketball team rolled to an 85-71 win over Caltech on Monday. The Panthers (11-3, 4-1 SCIAC) won their third game in a row to stay near the top of the SCIAC standings.
Chapman jumped out to an early lead behind some sharp shooting from the three-point arc. Nelsen made a pair of threes in the first five and a half minutes and junior Reed Nakakihara knocked down another for a 13-9 lead. Senior Tyler Green joined the action with a three that made it 16-11 Chapman less than seven minutes in.
Caltech (3-10, 1-3 SCIAC) tied it up at 16-16 but a few free throws combined with three-point shots from juniors Daniel McCown and Josh Mendoza fueled an 11-0 run over the next five-plus minutes to put the Panthers ahead for good.
The Panthers hit six three-pointers in the first half and turned the ball over just three times while forcing seven turnovers to take a 41-26 lead into halftime. Nelsen scored 12 of his 20 in the first half.
Chapman shot 60 percent as a team in the second half to build a 26-point lead around the halfway mark of the second half. The Beavers were able to make a late run to cut the lead down to 14 before Chapman dribbled out the final few seconds to secure the victory.
Senior Luke Selway knocked down six of his seven shots to score 14 points in the game to go along with his six rebounds, three assists and two steals. Nakakihara had 10 points while freshman Reed Smith and junior Corwin Feerick each scored eight points and grabbed six boards.
Chapman knocked down at least nine three-pointers for the third time in the last four games and shot over 50 percent for the second game in a row after shooting 52.7 percent against Caltech.
Chapman's busy schedule of six games in two weeks continues as it heads to Whittier on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. game. The Panthers return home to play the first game of a SCIAC doubleheader against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Saturday at 2 p.m.
By Steven Olveda
Sports Information Director