When Chapman College's basketball team heads north for its rematch with Sacramento State in two weeks, every member of the Panther roster will be clutching two pieces of paper as they board the team plane.
One will be their airline ticket. The other will be a copy of the stat sheet from Saturday night's 58-40 loss to Sacramento State in the championship final of the Chapman College/Orange Optimist Tournament.
The stat sheet will provide some not-so-pleasant reading for the Panthers, who can only hope their plane's pilot has better luck with the runway than their shots had with the basket Saturday.
In the first half against Sacramento State, Chapman shot 18.8% from the field. That's no misprint. That's 18.8%, as in 6-of-32 en route to a 14-point half.
In the second half, the Panthers went on a tear (32%) to raise their final shooting total to 25.8%.
"Twenty-five percent?" said Coach Kevin Wilson as he studied the ugly numbers. "Geez, I could've shot that well from where I was sitting."
And that was including an 8-for-15 performance from tournament co-most valuable player Jon Samuelson and a 6-for-14 effort by guard Mike Kelly.
"If Sam and Mike Kelly hadn't shown up, we would have only had three baskets," Wilson said, shaking his head. "That's pretty amazing."
You want really ? Consider these shooting figures for the four players who man the post for Chapman--players who spend most of their time within eight feet of the basket:
Karl Tompkins: 0-for-6.
Kelly Huston: 1-for-5.
John Bragg: 1-for-8.
Paul Rollins: 0-for-4.
That's 2-for-23. "Pretty weak," Wilson surmised.
Wilson doesn't want to witness it again. Immediately after his postgame interview session, Wilson instructed sports information director B.B. Branton to run off 15 copies of the final statistics and give one to each player.
"We're going to tape one to each of their lockers and when we get on the plane for Sacramento (Dec. 20), they all better have the sheet with them," Wilson said. "If one guy forgets it, everyone's running line drills (Wind sprints).
"Maybe by this, we can make sure that it won't happen again."
For Chapman, Round One with Sacramento State was one game where the numbers didn't lie. After splitting six games that all ended in the same manner--with nerves frazzled and stomachs churning--the Panthers finally got a chance to relax.
They were out of this one five minutes into the second half.
Perhaps Chapman's most impressive achievement of the night was the fact that it trailed by only nine (23-14) at intermission despite a horrendous first half.
That's because Sacramento State wasn't faring much better in its ventures to the hoop. The Hornets made just 10 of 29 attempts before halftime, a .345 shooting percentage.