Antonio Martin scored 18 points, four in the last 40 seconds, as the University of Charleston held off a Chapman rally to score a 79-70 victory in the Doubletree tournament final Saturday in the Hutton Sports Center.
Chapman (2-2) reduced a 21-point Charleston lead to five with 40 seconds left. But Martin, the tournament's most valuable player, made two inside shots and Mike Nembhard added two free throws to help Charleston hold on.
Charleston (4-0), ranked third by Sports Illustrated in its preseason NAIA poll, took control early. Using a swarming defense, Charleston had a 34-19 lead with five minutes left in the half.
Martin, a 6-foot 4-inch forward, made 5 of his 7 shots in the first half as he led Charleston with 12 points.
Chapman, meanwhile, had problems scoring as the Panthers made just 8 of their 28 shots.
"Their defense disrupted our offense to the point that we were forced to do things faster than we'd like," Chapman Coach Kevin Wilson said. "That forced us to take a lot of bad shots in the first half."
Chapman made 18 of 37 shots in the second half as the Panthers cut into Charleston's lead. All-tournament team selection Kelly Huston, who made 3 of 8 in the first half, scored 18 of his 26 points in the second half to pace the Chapman rally.
Russ Ortega made 4 of 6 field goals in the second half and scored all 10 of his points in the second half when Chapman shot 18 of 37.
"I didn't think we were going to shoot as badly in the second half as we did in the first," Wilson said. "It was a matter of us not allowing them to disrupt our offensive rhythm and us using our patience to whittle away their lead slowly. You don't cut a 21-point deficit in one gap."
In the third-place game:
Cal State Stanislaus 79, S. Utah State 73--Steve Romero scored 15 of his 23 points in the second half to lead Stanislaus (1-3).
The 6-5 Romero, who also had nine rebounds, scored eight points in the final 8:32.
Southern Utah (1-3) was paced by Derrick Williams (22 points) and Ted Thomas (19). Williams, who made 11 of 15 field goals, also had 9 rebounds.
In the women's final:
UC Santa Barbara 72, San Francisco State 71--Patti Niichel converted on a three-point play with 13 seconds left to give the Gauchos' the title.
UCSB (2-0) trailed San Francisco State (1-1), 71-69, when Niichel, the tournament's most valuable player, tied the game on an inside jumper as she was fouled by Trina Lintz. Niichel then made a free throw to give UCSB the lead.
San Francisco State had one last chance to win as time ran out, but the Gators' Valerie Seay missed a layup at the buzzer.
In the third-place game:
Chapman 87, UC San Diego 54--Dana Dawson led a balanced scoring attack with 16 points as Chapman improved its record to 3-1 with its victory.
Six Panthers scored in double figures as Chapman built a 42-29 halftime lead and was never challenged. Karan Polk (10), Lisa Schumaker (14), Kim Rieff and Marie Fontaine (12 each) and Corine Sandfry (10) also scored in double figures for Chapman.
UC San Diego (1-3) was led by Michele Leohner, who scored 19 points.