ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University basketball team fell 59-69 to No. 15 Pomona-Pitzer on Saturday, suffering its third loss in a row. Senior Reed Nakakihara scored a season-high 25 points in the loss.
Nakakihara made his first three shots from beyond the arc over the first four minutes of the game to lead the Panthers to an early lead. Chapman came out of the opening tip-off on fire and opened a 22-9 lead in the first eight minutes after Nakakihara's fourth three-pointer of the half.
Three-pointers were falling as consistenly as the rain outside Hutton Sports Center as the teams combined to make 25 three-pointers in the game. Chapman knocked down 13-of-23 for a scorching 56.5 percentage from three-point range. Pomona-Pitzer drained 12-of 27 three-point tries.
Nearly all of Nakakihara's points came from the three-point line as he hit 8-of-14 in the game, including one in the second half after he was fouled. He swished the ensuing free throw for his only point not from the three-point line.
The Sagehens chipped away and closed the gap to just a point at halftime after converting two free throws just before the buzzer and trailed 39-38. While the Panthers production slowed down a bit in the second half, the Sagehens hit eight of their 12 threes in the final 20 minutes to overcome and pull away.
Micha Elan and Adam Rees each scored in double figures in the second half, ending the game with 15 and 17 points, respectively. Daniel Rosenbaum scored 26 points in the game to lead the comeback win.
Pomona-Pitzer went on a 6-2 run to start the second half and take a 44-41 lead – a lead they would not relinquish. The lead reached double digits by the 12:18 mark in the second half and continued to grow.
The Panthers will look to end their current three-game slide on the road when they head to Caltech on Tuesday for a 7 p.m. game. They are back home in two weeks n Feb. 16 for Senior Day against La Verne.
By Steven Olveda
Sports Information Director