ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University women's basketball team fell 75-63 to the visiting George Fox University on the second night of the Panther Poet Classic. The Panthers were led again by sophomore Lucy Criswell, who put up double-digit points for the second night in a row.
Chapman was unbeaten heading into the two-night classic, but fell to Hiram College last night, bringing its overall record to 5-2 after its loss to the Bruins.
George Fox took an early 5-0 lead in the first three minutes of the game. Senior Irma Munoz put up the first point for the Panthers, draining one of two free throws. The Bruins then went on to score six unanswered points, taking an 11-1 lead with just over six minutes left to play in the first quarter.
Criswell hit a jumper, tallying two of her 13 points on the night and surging some energy into the Chapman offense. The sophomore hit another jumper a minute and a half later, followed by a layup from Munoz to bring the Panthers within four points of the Bruins. Senior Jaime Hum-Nishikado drained a three with just over a minute left in the quarter, but George Fox junior Haylee Hutzler followed with a three-point buzzer-beater to give the Bruins a 19-10 lead heading into the second quarter.
The second quarter was all George Fox action, as they took an 18 point lead at the midway point. A pair of free throws and a three-point play from sophomore Paige Endo brought Chapman back within 13 heading into halftime.
The Panthers came out strong in the second half, pulling back within single digits of the Bruins. A jumper from Criswell and two made free throws from freshman Brittany McPherson cut George Fox's lead to five points with just over six minutes left to play in the quarter. The Bruins scored six unanswered points, but a three point play by McPherson brought the score to 52-43 heading into the final quarter.
George Fox took control of the fourth quarter, going up by 14 points with just two minutes left to play. Hum-Nishikado, McPherson and Criswell drained three consecutive shots from beyond the arc in the final minute of play, but the Bruins came away with the victory.
George Fox's Hutzler led the Bruins on offense and defense, recording her first career double-double with a career high 13 boards and 17 points. Munoz led the Panthers with six boards of her own. Endo tallied a career-high seven assists to go along with her eight points and two steals.
Chapman takes a break for the holidays but heads back to Hutton Sports Center on Friday, Dec. 29 at 5 p.m. as they face Benedictine (Ariz.) in the first game of the Winter Classic.
by Katie Bell
Sports Information Assistant