This time, Chapman College accomplished something it had failed to do in the first round of California Collegiate Athletic Assn. play.
It won on the road. Round two in the CCAA meant road victory No. 2--overall--as Chapman defeated host Cal State Dominguez Hills, 59-46, in a men's basketball game Tuesday at Carson in front of 246.
To be sure, road wins are anything but easy in the CCAA, or really, in any conference. But Chapman, which lost unexpectedly at home against Cal State Northridge last week, needed to pull off a victory Tuesday to offset the loss to the Matadors in order to remain in playoff contention.
And that they did. Heading into Tuesday's conference games, four teams were tied for fourth place. Now the Panthers (13-8, 4-4) are tied only with Northridge for the final playoff spot. Dominguez Hills is 9-11 overall and 3-5 in the conference.
In contrast to the Northridge game, Chapman let its opponent fold down the stretch. Against the Matadors, the Panthers went scoreless in the final 4:45. On Tuesday, Dominguez Hills failed to convert anything after Anthony Blackmon made a field goal with 3:53 remaining.
Give the credit to Chapman's defense, which held Dominguez Hills to only 46 points, a season low for a Panther opponent. The Toros scored only 23 points in the first half on 39% shooting.
That was good news for Chapman because the Panthers were even worse; they hads 21 points on 32% shooting. There's a simple explanation for that: Leading scorer Kelly Huston picked up his third foul with 14:20 remaining in the half and sat out until the start of the second half.
"Our defense was awesome in the first half," said Chapman Coach Kevin Wilson. "We outrebounded them, 17-12, and I only counted five personal fouls."
Finally, however, the Panthers came around offensively. Freshman guard Bryan Richetto led the team with 16 points; Huston had 14 points and 9 rebounds, and Dean Balcao added 10.
For Dominguez Hills, Blackmon scored 16 points and Robert Barksdale had 15. The Toros also were hampered by forward Leonard Eaton's awful night from the field, a 1-for-14 effort.
Dominguez Hills Coach Dave Yanai pointed to Eaton's shooting as one of several reasons for the loss, saying Chapman's defense had a lot to do with it.
"Yes, that's a about as cold as I've seen Leonard shoot," Yanai said of Eaton, who came into Tuesday's game shooting 49% from the field, including 48% from three-point range.