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Chapman Finds Crack, Grand Canyon Falls

November 25, 1987|LISA DILLMAN | Special to the Times

The frustration of Grand Canyon College began to sneak through when it was assessed a technical with 6:24 remaining. Blair Oliphant, after being called for a foul, turned and hurled the basketball against the wall.

Chapman made the three straight free throws to cut the deficit to 62-61.

That was the first subtle sign that Grand Canyon was finally losing its poise--and its lead.

It didn't take long for the next, and final, crack to manifest itself, actually just less than two minutes later. Oliphant, again, was called for a technical.

This time, Chapman made just two of the possible three points. But it was enough for the Panthers as they finally broke down Grand Canyon's resistance, winning, 83-76, Tuesday night in a nonconference game at Hutton Sports Center in Orange.

Unlike Friday's season opener, Chapman let the other team fold in the stretch. Along with winning their first game, the Panthers handed Grand Canyon (2-1) its first loss of the season.

"In every game I've ever played in or coached in, there comes a cracking point," Chapman Coach Kevin Wilson said. "It's either on the first possession when someone scores on a slam or maybe it's near the end.

"Tonight, the cracking point was when they got frustrated and threw the ball at the wall and things like that."

However, Grand Canyon Coach Paul Westphal thought the Panthers might have had something to do with his team's loss of poise.

"We worked hard on defense, but sometimes when we got the ball, we just threw it away," he said. "We kept playing every shot like it was going to be in the highlight film. But you've got to give Chapman a lot of credit. They played a very smart game and did everything right."

Leading Chapman was forward Bryan Richetto, who finished with 18 points after scoring just two in the first half. Russ Ortega, Dave Roth and Kelly Huston each had 14 points. For Grand Canyon, forward Gary Ware had a game-high 31 points, including 6-of-10 from three-point range. Danl Williams of Grand Canyon finished with 15.

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