Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
ORANGE, Calif. – The Whittier College Men's Basketball team put together a late run in the second half Saturday night that secured them a come from behind victory over Chapman University 62-59 inside of the Hutton Sports Center.
Since the 2012-13 season the Poets are now 3-7 against the Panthers with all three wins coming on the road. The other two wins coming in the 2014-15 and 2012-13 seasons.
Trailing 59-51 with 3:44 to play sophomore Conner Longmire (Tarzana, Calif.) again proved lethal from deep dropping a triple from just outside the arc that sparked an 11-0 run, while Whittier earned the victory on three free throws from Eric Davis (Ventura, Calif.) and Louis Kurihara (Culver City, Calif.) in the final :30 seconds of the game.
Whittier and Chapman traded leads nine times in the first half but CU managed to hold a 28-25 lead at halftime following a triple from Rob Nelsen, who added all of his 13 points in the first half.
The momentum carried into the second half as Chapman would extend their lead to 49-41 with nine minutes left in the game but couldn't hold the lead as Whittier would storm back with Richard Kaye (Irvine, Calif.) adding a jumper and Jordan Lingard (DU, Australia) with a tip-in.
Three free throws from Chapman would extend their lead back to seven. Kaye would knock down one of two free throws on the Poets next possession and after two free throws from Reed Nakakihara, it was all Purple & Gold over the final 4:32.
Longmire added a deep three and was joined by Lingard who added a layup. Longmire again answered from deep with 3:25 to play and Lingard and Kurihara would combine for two free throws and a three-pointer that tied things up 59-59.
With 1:13 to play it then became a defensive stand. Chapman missed the mark on a three-pointer with :10 seconds left. They then trailed by one after Davis went 1-2 from the line. They had a look for the win coming off the hand of Nakakihara but it wouldn't fall as Whittier would hold on for the three-point victory.
Lingard went off for the night and was huge inside finishing with 18 points and seven boards coming on 7-of-11 shooting. Longmire came off the bench to add 14 going 6-of-13 from the field with seven rebounds, while Anthony Martinez (Cerritos, Calif.) and Kurihara would each add nien points each, respectively.
Whittier outrebounded Chapman 41-34 and had 12 second chance points.
Whittier returns home this Thursday, January 26 as they host Pomona-Pitzer beginning at 7:00pm.