ORANGE, Calif. – A 13-point deficit didn't stop the Chapman University men's basketball team from claiming a crucial SCIAC victory over the visiting Redlands Bulldogs earlier tonight. The Panthers rallied in the second half to notch the 60-56 comeback battle earlier this evening at the Hutton Sports Center.
Three different Panthers scored in double digits to assist in the effort, including a 12-point game from sophomore Kevin Marlow off the bench. Senior Reed Nakakihara and junior Cam Haslam each posted 13 points to help lead Chapman.
The Bulldogs led 33-23 at the half and a quick three pointer from junior David Menary gave Redlands their largest lead of the night just one minute into the second half of play. Nakakihara brought the Panthers back within 10, sinking three free throws after a tough foul outside the arc. Bulldogs junior Thomas Scriven drove down the court and converted an and-one, but Haslam and sophomore Chandler White answered with a couple of layups to bring Chapman's deficit to single digits.
White drove to the basket with just under 13 minutes left to play, getting fouled on the way up. The power forward sunk the layup and made his free throw, sparking a fire in the Panther offense. Marlow took control, sinking a couple of free throws, followed by a layup and a three pointer to score seven unanswered points for Chapman and make the score 44-42 in favor of Redlands.
With just under 10 to play, junior Ryan Fusco drilled a shot from beyond the arc to give Chapman the lead. The Bulldogs regained the lead on a couple of back-to-back layups and two free throws from Menary. Younger brother and freshman Gary Menary extended Redlands' lead to seven points after getting fouled on the way up to the basket. Marlow answered with his second three pointer of the night on the next possession, cutting the deficit to four points.
David Menary drove to the basket with over six minutes to play, converting a layup to put Redlands back up by six. Over a minute later, senior Jeff Kenney was fouled after grabbing a defensive board. Kenney made both free throws, followed by a layup from Haslam on the Panthers' next possession to bring Chapman within two points.
Nakakihara was fouled with four minutes left to play and the senior sunk both free throws to tie the game. Less than a minute later, Kenney helped Chapman take a 55-54 lead with a free throw. Nakakihara punched in two more free throws, finishing off his perfect night from the line and giving the Panthers a three-point lead with 12 seconds left to play.
After a couple of free throws from both teams, Redlands got the ball back down by just two points with seven seconds left to play. With the clock winding down, Haslam came up clutch with a huge steal to secure the come-from-behind victory for the Panthers. The junior went to the line with 1.6 on the clock and sunk both free throws, forcing Redlands to run out the clock on their final inbound.
Kenney score eight points, snagged three rebounds and tallied a block in 23 minutes off the bench. Senior Corwin Feerick and junior Colin Ferrier each recorded six boards to help the Panthers. Haslam dished out five assists while also tallying five steals. Chapman capitalized on their chances, scoring 20 points off of Redlands turnovers.
The Panthers return to Hutton Sports Center on Wednesday, Jan. 16 to host Caltech in a SCIAC matchup.
by Katie Bell
Sports Information Assistant