ORANGE, Calif. – The Occidental College women's basketball team took its only lead of the second half as time expired and shocked host Chapman University with a 59-57 come-from-behind win on Tuesday night at the Hutton Center. Tigers' junior F Katelyn Rowe scored the game winning layup as the buzzer sounded to snap the tie and hand Chapman its second consecutive home loss.
Occidental (10-2) began its charge with under 5 minutes remaining in the game. Trailing 54-45, the Tigers got back-to-back baskets from junior G Marquisha Corley and Rowe. After a Chapman turnover, junior G Makenzie Brandon was fouled and made both free throws – two of her game-high 15 points – to cut the Panthers' lead to just three.
Sophomore F Stephanie Servin – playing her first game of the season back from an injury – hit a clutch jumper to put Chapman back up 56-51 with 2:45 remaining, but it was all Oxy from there. Tigers' junior G Stephanie Scamman nailed a jumper with 50 seconds left to pull even at 57 for the first time since the 11:30 minute mark in the first half.
Chapman (10-6) couldn't capitalize on its final possession with sophomore G Kimi Takaoka taking the final shot attempt amongst heavy traffic in the key. A quick outlet pass downcourt by Occidental got the ball into the hands of Rowe for the layup just before the final horn.
The final bucket was an exclamation point on a fine night for Rowe who finished with a double-double: 12 points, 16 rebounds, four blocked shots and two steals.
Prior to that, Occidental led for all of 15 seconds in the game, and that came very early in the first half. The Tigers took a 4-2 lead at the 17:26 mark in the half and Chapman answered on a three-pointer by junior G Emily McCoy 15 seconds later. The Panthers never again trailed until Rowe's game-clincher.
The Panthers began to pull away midway through the first half turning a one-point lead with 9:10 remaining into a 32-22 halftime advantage, thanks to a 13-4 run to close the period.
In the second half Chapman (10-6) extended its lead to 13 points early on, and still led by as many as 11 at the 9:35 mark after a pair of free throws from freshman PG Andrea Villanueva put the Panthers up 50-39.
For Chapman, senior C Brandi Hood came within a rebound of a double-double, scoring 14 points and nine boards. Takaoka also finished in double figures with 13 points.
The loss marked another narrow decision for Chapman, which fell to 5-3 in games decided by four points or less. After beginning the season with five consecutive home wins, the Panthers fell to 5-2 on their home court.
Chapman will hit the road for its next five contests beginning with the University of La Verne on Monday night. The Panthers are 5-4 away from the Hutton Center this year.
by Doug Aiken
Sports Information Director