The Chapman women’s basketball team took a 76-63 loss Saturday against Biola University at home Dec. 3, marking Chapman’s third loss in four games this season and its second in a row.
Head coach Carol Jue said that despite losing by a close margin against Biola, which is a Division II school, she was not satisfied with the team’s defensive positioning.
“We had a game plan. I’m disappointed with that,” Jue said. “That’s a Division II school. That’s a scholarship school and our tallest players are 5’8″ and 5’9″. But I’m sick of these moral victories because we’ve already had three games like this.”
From the outset, it was a close game. The Panthers found themselves in a two-point deficit at the end of the low-scoring first quarter, as Biola led 12-10.
Chapman was more effective offensively in the second quarter and closed out the half with a 34-26 lead. Senior guard Lauren Sato stood out in this quarter, scoring a pair of three-pointers to help contribute to the lead.
Despite the strong second quarter, Chapman faltered in the third quarter and gave back a 49-44 lead to Biola.
Sato said the team tends to come out slow after halftime.
“We have a tendency to do that,” Sato said. “We start off strong and then for some reason after halftime, we don’t come out with that same intensity. I think our issue has been maintaining that sense of urgency and consistency.”
Chapman was unable to close the deficit in the fourth quarter, leaving the Panthers with a second-straight home loss.
Junior guard Jaime Hum-Nishikado said that because Chapman is smaller than most opponents, improved communication is crucial.
“Next game, it’s really just communication, because for all the teams that we play, we are really undersized,” Hum-Nishikado said. “So it’s really all about talking and knowing when we need help and where it’s coming from.”
Jue also recognized Chapman’s size disadvantage and said the Panthers need to improve their defensive understanding to compensate.
“We have a couple new players where they’re still not sure how to play our defense,” Jue said. “It’s learning the nuances of our defense because of the fact that we are not tall, but we are quick. To get that, that’s the big thing.”
Chapman’s next game will be its first in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference this season at Pomona-Pitzer on Dec. 11 at 2 p.m.