Men improve to 6-0

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Senior center, John Joyce moves around La Sierra player to shoot and score. The Panthers won 89-72 in the Hutton Sports Center on Saturday, Dec. 13th.

The Chapman men’s basketball team (6-0) won its sixth game in a row against visitors La Sierra (0-8) 89-72 Saturday night.

It was another memorable night for the Panthers who, for the second game in a row, had one of their players pass the 1,000 career points milestone. Senior guard Colin Zavrsnick achieved this feat with 3:10 remaining in the game with one of his trademark step-back three-pointers.

“Passing 1,000 is great but I don’t put too much emphasis on it,” Zavrsnick said. “I worked hard for my four years so it’s a nice accomplishment, but I just want to help the team accomplish our goals this year.”

Though Zavrsnick does not put much emphasis on the accomplishment, his teammates certainly are impressed by his and senior guard Taylor Hamasaki, who broke 1,000 points earlier this year.

“Both (Zavrsnick) and Taylor have had great careers and are setting the example on how to be great players and leaders of a top DIII program,” said sophomore guard Liam Skelly.

The Panthers seized the lead in the first minute of the game and led comfortably from that point on. Aside from the Eagles trimming Chapman’s lead to 28-24 with five minutes left in the first half, the Panthers, who strung together a few key runs to assert their command, dominated the game.

An 11-0 run in the second half extended Chapman’s lead to 18 points, and the Panthers cruised to a 89-72 victory.

Zavrsnick led the Panthers with 26 points, followed by Hamasaki, who had 20 points and seven rebounds. Senior center John Joyce added 13 points and senior point guard Garrett James had 10, along with nine assists.

Zavrsnick said he believes part of the team’s current success can be attributed to good defense.

“I believe what we are doing best is slowing the opposing (team’s) runs,” Zavrsnick said. “Keeping their runs small and quick makes it easier for us to win games.”

“I was very pleased with our win tonight,” Hamasaki said. “La Sierra is a tough program although their record does not show it. We are playing well right now but there are still many things we need to work on in order to continue to improve and get better.”

The Panthers have now won 11 games in a row in a streak that dates back to next season. Head coach Mike Bokosky will have the opportunity to claim his 400th victory as the Panthers’ coach when they play La Sierra away Dec. 22.

“I believe we give great effort,” Hamasaki said. “I think we all as a team realize we could be something really special this season and we know we know we must work hard in order to get there.”

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