ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University women's basketball team hosted Benedictine University of Arizona on Friday night and came out with the 90-84 victory. Senior Jaime Hum-Nishikado helped lead the Panthers with a career-high 28 points against the Redhawks.
Hum-Nishikado hit her stride in the second half, hitting three of her six three pointers in the third quarter alone. The senior also tallied a steal, an assist and a block in her career-best game.
Chapman went up early thanks to Hum-Nishikado, who was fouled while shooting a three and made all three of her free throws. On the next play, the senior drained a shot from beyond the arc to put the Panthers up by four. The Redhawks went on a 10-0 run to retake the lead from Chapman with just under six minutes left to play in the first quarter. A couple of free throws and a jumper from Benedictine senior Kaelin Shaffer brought the Redhawks' lead to nine points with three and a half minutes left to play in the first. Chapman regained the lead when sophomore Lucy Criswell hit a three, giving the Panthers a two point advantage with just under a minute left. A layup from sophomore Paige Endo extended the Chapman lead to four points heading into the second quarter.
The second quarter saw back-and-forth action, as Chapman and Benedictine traded points for the first five minutes. An offensive rebound and layup from Criswell brought the Panthers' lead to 13 points with a little over three minutes left to play in the quarter. The Redhawks answered with seven points of their own to cut down Chapman's lead to eight points, but sophomore Rachel Williams kissed a layup off the glass to score the final points of the first half, bringing the score to 46-36 Chapman.
The third quarter was all Hum-Nishikado as she tallied 11 points and helped the Panthers to a 23 point lead, their largest of the game. Benedictine had the last word in the third quarter as junior Juwanna Milton made a pair of free throws and senior Erica Vasquez drained one of her free throws, bringing the score to 69-50 heading into the final quarter of play.
Chapman and the Redhawks traded points for the first half of the fourth quarter. Benedictine took control halfway through, going on a 9-0 run with just over two minutes left to play, cutting the Panthers' lead down to eight. Redhawks' Vasquez drained a three with 42 seconds left to play, bringing Benedictine's deficit to just five points. The two teams traded fouls and free throws, but Hum-Nishikado's final free throw with 10 seconds left to play proved to be the final point. Sophomore Marissa Dunn stole the ball with five seconds left, dribbling down court to end the game at 90-84.
Senior Irma Munoz and Williams had big nights on the boards, as Munoz recorded eight rebounds and Williams tallied seven. Criswell recorded 17 points on the night, along with three rebounds, three assists, and four steals. Endo and freshman Brittany McPherson each tallied seven assists while Endo added 10 points of her own.
Benedictine junior Stephanie Orji poured in 18 points and four boards for the Redhawks, with Milton right behind her with 17 points and seven rebounds.
Chapman heads back to Hutton Sports Center for a special New Years Eve game against No. 1 Amherst College at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 31.
by Katie Bell
Sports Information Assistant