ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University women's basketball team fell 73-58 to the defending national champions from Amherst College in the final game of 2017. Senior Jaime Hum-Nishikado led the Panthers (6-3) with 15 points.
After falling into an early hole, the Panthers had a big fourth quarter but couldn't close the gap with Amherst. Chapman outscored the Mammoths (10-0) 23-22 in the final period, shooting 46 percent from the floor and hitting all eight free throws. However, the Mammoths hit 12-of-13 free throws and drained four of their six shots to keep the lead in double digits.
Chapman whittled a 20-point lead down to as little as 10 near the halfway mark of the final quarter when sophomore Marissa Dunn knocked down a three-pointer to make it 58-48. Emma McCarthy seemed to be the answer for Amherst as she hit all seven of her free throw attempts and scored nine of her 19 points in the fourth quarter. She also grabbed 11 rebounds.
Hum-Nishikado scored six of her 15 points in the fourth quarter – all of which came at the free throw line. She hit 13-of-14 free throws in the game. Chapman's bench outscored Amherst's 24-6 in the game with sophomore Lucy Criswell and freshman Brittany McPherson each scoring 11 points. McPherson also had three assists and scored nine of those points in the second half to help fuel the comeback attempt. Senior Irma Munoz had eight points and seven rebounds.
Hannah Fox scored 17 of her game-high 23 points in the first half to help build Amherst's early lead. She scored 12 points in the first quarter as the Mammoths led 19-11 at the first break and 36-24 at halftime.
Chapman jumps back into its conference schedule tomorrow when the Panthers host Caltech at 4 p.m. Amherst will take on Redlands in the Hutton Sports Center at 2 p.m.
By Steven Olveda
Sports Information Director