Men’s basketball defeats West Coast Baptist 77-72

The Chapman men’s basketball team traveled to West Coast Baptist College Tuesday, jumping out to an early lead and hanging on for a 77-72 victory.

“We did a good job of being persistent,” said sophomore forward James Taylor. “We knew we weren’t playing anywhere near our best defense, but we stuck with it and all we could do was just think about the next possession.”

Chapman (3-2) played well on both ends of the floor in the first half, taking an early 21-9 lead and maintaining that lead into the locker room, leading 37-25 at the half.

The Panthers maintained the intensity early in the second half, leading by as many as 20 points with 15 minutes remaining.

West Coast Baptist continued to battle though, going on an 18-4 run and cutting the lead to just six points with nine minutes remaining.

“We were up by a good amount and guys started to get complacent with guarding their men,” Taylor said. “That is when (the Eagles) capitalized and started to ease their way back into the game.”

That was as close as the Eagles would get though, as the Panthers held on for the victory.

Freshman forward Cam Haslam led Chapman with 24 points on 9-of-18 shooting. He also added six steals. Haslam was coming off a 40-point performance in the team’s last game.

Taylor and senior forward Mike Atwater each added 12 points to the victory.

The Panthers continue their road trip Friday when they travel to Life Pacific College for a 7 p.m. game.

“We’re a young team and we have a lot of things that we need to work on. One of our flaws is just our overall maturity as a team on the court,” Taylor said. “We’re not a team anymore with eight seniors in our rotation like we were last year. We’re a little bit younger and we make a little more mistakes in the game. All we can do is just hold each other accountable and try to correct these mistakes.”

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