THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - With the students back on campus and the Gilbert Arena stands packed, the Cal Lutheran men's basketball team nearly gave the crowd a thrilling victory for the second time in as many games. Unfortunately, the Kingsmen squandered a 37-26 halftime advantage and ultimately fell 86-82 in overtime to split the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) series with Chapman as the teams now share fourth place in the league standings.
In a tale of two halves, Cal Lutheran opened strong, but a powerful Panthers team came back to the court in the second half to outscore the home team 44-33. In the final five minutes CU prevailed with 16 points to CLU's 12, sealing the win. It was the first OT game of the season for the Kingsmen.
Behind a perfect free-throw showing effort by CLU (11-for-11) and a 17-point first half from Coltrane Powdrill Cal Lutheran never trailed in the opening 20 minute stanza. A layup from Arik Smith started things off after Corey Quintana won the tip-off and the Violet and Gold took as much as a 14 point lead at the 3:34 mark of the half on a Smith three-pointer. John Green came off the bench for a couple of key rebounds and baskets in the opening half. With 1:21 to play in the first the CLU defense stepped up, forcing a shot clock violation and on the ensuing Panthers' possession nearly did it again
Chapman came out of the locker rooms with vengeance and hit a three-pointer to start the scoring in the second half, but Guy Lynott countered with a bucket of his own. Trailing by 11 points with 14:54 remaining in regulation, CU went on a 7-0 run, capped off with an and-one from Colin Zavrsnick to close the differential to four points and Justin Young got Chapman within a pair, 46-44, at the 11:55 mark. The Panthers would knot the teams at 47-47 on a Zavrsnick three-pointer and Chapman would earn its first lead of the game as the CU junior guard converted a pair of free-throws to put his squad on top 52-51 with just over 10 minutes to play.
Over the final quarter of the contest the lead would change hands a dozen times. CLU was up by as many as six with 6:51 to go, but again Chapman chipped away, taking a lead late in the second half. Missed free-throws down the stretch doomed the home team. Down by one with 27 seconds remaining in regulation, Smith erased the deficit with one of two FT's and sent the teams to overtime.
Chapman won the tip-off in the extra frame and scored first, but Quintanaknocked down a three-pointer to tie things at 75-75 just over two and a half minutes into OT. Six free-throws by Taylor Hamasaki and a jumper from Young were too much for the Kingsmen to overcome in the last 2:29. CU shot 60 percent from the floor while the Kingsmen combined to go just 4-for-10 in the final five minute period.
Overall, Chapman shot 43.6 percent from the filed with Cal Lutheran connecting for 38.2 percent of its shots from the floor tonight. CU also out rebounded CLU 48-37, grabbing 18 offensive boards to 15 for the Kingsmen.
The Cal Lutheran defensive unit had shining moments and the offense turned the ball over just seven times, with two in the first half, and forced the Panthers into 19.
A career night from Powdrill was not enough as the junior poured in 32 points with a 20-for-23 performance at the charity stripe in the game. He nearly made it a double-double, grabbing nine rebounds, second on the team to Lynott who finished with 10. Smith contributed 19 points, three assists, a block and a steal before fouling out mid-way through overtime and Quintana added 11 points tonight with five rebounds. Seven different players came up with a steal tonight.
Chapman (10-6, 43-4 SCIAC) notched its tenth win of the season and evened its SCIAC mark. Hamasaki led the Panthers with a 24-point performance, going 8-for-16 from the field and 7-for-9 from the line. Zavrsnick produced a double-double with 18 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Nick Dragovich and Garret James also reached double figures with 12 and 11 points apiece, respectively.
Cal Lutheran (13-3, 4-3 SCIAC) is on the road Saturday night, Jan. 25 when the Kingsmen travel to Whittier to tip-off with the Poets as the first game of a double header with the women's basketball team. The men's teams will step onto the floor at the Graham Athletics Center at 5:00 p.m.