ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University men's basketball team fell 80-67 to the visiting Whittier College Poets in a SCIAC battle. Sophomore Chandler White led the Panthers with 24 points, tallying his 10th double-digit scoring game this season.
White also tallied a rebound and one assist to go along with his team-high points. Junior Cam Haslam was right behind White, scoring 16 points while snagging six rebounds and an assist.
The Poets broke through first, scoring the first points of the game nearly a minute and a half into the first half. They scored the next four points to take an early 6-0 lead before White drained his first jumper of the night. Whittier jumped out to a 15-7 lead on one of four made three pointers from senior Connor Longmire. Haslam pulled the Panthers back within six points, but Longmire's second three pointer put the Poets up by 11 points with just under eight minutes left to play in the first.
Senior Jacob Aruta drained a three after a couple of made free throws from White, but junior Colin Ferrier answered with a jumper to bring the Panthers within 10 points. Haslam and White combined for Chapmans next nine points, cutting the Poets' lead to single digits with just under two minutes to play in the half. Whittier finished the half with a couple of made jump shots to take a 37-27 lead heading into the second half.
Whittier junior Kenyatta Louder hit a three just over one minute into the second half of play but senior Reed Nakakihara responded with a three of his own on the next possession. Ferrier went on to score the next five points off a jumper and a three to cut the Panthers' deficit to six points. Haslam responded to a Poet layup with his only three pointer of the game to cut the deficit to just four points. The two sides traded points for the next four minutes, with Chapman answering every made basket the Poets had to offer.
With 13 minutes left on the clock, Longmire hit another three, followed by three made free throws from Louder to jump to an 11 point lead. The Poets went on a 10-2 run until junior Ryan Fusco stopped them in their tracks with a couple of made layups. The two sides finished off the game trading points, with Whittier taking a final 80-67 lead and their second conference victory.
Senior Corwin Feerick grabbed nine boards while putting up two points in the effort. Nakakihara and Fusco added four assists each.
The Panthers return to their home court on Monday, Jan. 7 at 7pm to host Redlands in another SCIAC matchup.
by Katie Bell
Sports Information Assistant