ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University women's basketball team spent its holiday weekend taking down Division III preseason No. 2-ranked George Fox University (Ore.) 56-46 and then beat Carleton College (Minn.) 82-71 to go undefeated at the Posada Royale Tournament hosted by Cal Lutheran on Friday and Saturday. The Panthers are 4-0 to begin the season for the first time since 2003.
Game 1: Chapman 56, George Fox 46
A familiar West Region nemesis and playoff foe, Chapman had never defeated the Bruins in eight previous meetings, including three times in the postseason. And with heavily-favored George Fox leading by 10 points with under 8 minutes to play, it appeared as though that losing streak would be extended. However, the Panthers exploded for a 26-6 run over the final 7:27 of the game to rally for a 10-point upset victory led by junior G Kimi Takaoka. The junior scored 15 of her game-high 23 points in the final 8 minutes.
Takaoka was fouled on consecutive three-point attempts – one she made for a four-point play – and made all of her free shots. Free throws by senior G Emily McCoy put Chapman up for good 45-44 with 3:42 remaining and the Panthers finished on an 11-2 run to close out the game and finally slay the Bruins. McCoy (11 points) and freshman F Sandra Gao (13 points, 10 rebounds) also scored in double figures.
It was the second consecutive loss for George Fox (0-2) which is playing without two-time All-America center Hannah Munger.
Game 2: Chapman 82, Carleton 71
The Panthers trailed 25-24 with 5:19 remaining in a back-and-forth first half before scoring 18 consecutive points and finishing the half on an 18-2 run to take a commanding 15-point lead heading into the intermission. McCoy scored 16 points in the half including a pair of three-pointers. She would finish the night with a career-high 27 points, three assists and seven steals and was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
Chapman (4-0) led by as many as 18 in the second half, but a 14-5 run by Carleton (0-2) in the final 5 minutes of the game made it interesting, trimming the Panthers' lead to just six points with 1:18 to play. A layup by McCoy followed by free throws by Takaoka extended Chapman's lead back to double digits and the Panthers hung on from there. Takaoka added 17 points and three steals and was also named to the All-Tournament Team.
The Panthers begin SCIAC play on Thursday when they travel to Claremont to face Pomona-Pitzer Colleges at 7:30 p.m. Chapman will then host Occidental College on Saturday at 5 p.m. in its home debut.
by Doug Aiken
Sports Information Director