ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University men's basketball knocked down 19 three-pointers to fuel a 98-56 win over visiting Cal Lutheran. The Panthers (15-6, 8-4 SCIAC) won for the third game in a row behind 20-point efforts from freshman Reed Smith and junior Reed Nakakihara.
Chapman came out firing as it took a 29-17 lead in the first 10 minutes of the game. Their largest lead was 29 points with two minutes left to play before the half. Four Panthers all managed to score double-digit points before halftime with seniors Tyler Green and Rob Nelsen joining Smith and Nakakihara.
During the first half, the three-ball was a contributing factor for Chapman's offense as they shot 12-for-21 from behind the arc. Nakakihara shot 5-for-6 from the three point line giving him 17 points in 14 minutes of action in the first half. Smith was another first-period stand out for the Panthers as he finished with four rebounds and three assists to go along with his 12 points. Chapman took authority early in the game as they started the second half with a 55-27 lead over the Kingsmen.
Green, Nakakihara and Nelsen combined to hit 12 threes in the first half alone as the Panthers shot a blistering 57.1 percent beyond the arc. They knocked down seven more three in the second half, shooting 50 percent from long distance with three more Panthers joining in the three-pointer parade off the bench.
The Panthers kept it going in the second half as they outscored the Kingsmen 43-29. Chapman took a 30 point lead with 10 minutes left of play after a layup from Daniel McCown to take a 72-42 lead. The Panthers continued on their run and outscored their opponent 26-14 to end the game.
Chapman finished the game shooting 55.6% compared to Cal Lutheran's 37.9%. The Panthers great shooting is largely due to Nakakihara as he reached 20 points for the second time in his last three games while shooting 60.9% over that span.
The Kingsmen's Lukas Swidler finished the game with a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Cal Lutheran is now 6-12 on the season and 4-7 in SCIAC play.
The Panthers look to continue their streak as they host SCIAC opponent, Whittier, next Wednesday at 7 p.m.
By Kyle Brown
Sports Information Intern