ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University women's basketball team saw a halftime lead erased as it suffered its first loss of the season, 69-65, to visiting Hiram on Thursday. Sophomore Lucy Criswell had a career-high with 19 points in the loss.
Criswell scored 13 of her 19 points in the first half to help Chapman (5-1) to a 36-23 halftime lead. However, the Terriers (6-7) seized momentum in the third quarter with a 13-0 run that spanned just over five minutes and brought them within four at 44-40. Criswell ended the run with a midrange jumper but the Terriers kept the momentum at tied the game up at 50-50 just before the buzzer.
The two teams went back and forth in the fourth quarter with five lead changes and a pair of ties. Madison Branch knocked down a three-pointer for Hiram to give the Terriers their first lead since early on at 53-52. With just under four minutes to play, Brittany McPherson knocked down back-to-back shots to give Chapman the lead back at 63-61.
Hiram responded with another big three to retake the lead but senior Sydney Olivier made a nice move inside to get an easy bucket and make it 65-64. However, those would be the last points Chapman scored as Hiram scored the final five points to capture the comeback victory.
Chapman's lead reached as many as 17 points early in the third quarter. In the first half the Panthers held Hiram to just 24 percent shooting as they built a sizeable lead. Hiram found its shot in the second half, making 17-of-35 attempts from the floor with four triples.
Chapman came out with the hot hand, shooting 7-of-14 in the first quarter while making a pair of threes. Senior Jaime Hum-Nishikado had 11 points in the game with seven points coming in the first quarter. Sophomore Rachel Williams had seven rebound to lead the Panthers on the boards while sophomore Paige Endo had four assists and four steals to go along with her nine points.
Branch led the Terriers with 18 points while Allison Vannoy scored 14.
The Panthers are back in action tomorrow against George Fox at 7 p.m. The Bruins beat Whittier in the game preceding Chapman's today.
By Steven Olveda
Sports Information Director