The Chapman men’s basketball team traveled to Pomona-Pitzer on Saturday and was forced to play without its top scorer, freshman guard Cam Haslam, who missed the game with a hamstring injury. This is the second straight game Haslam has been out with injury, and without him, the Panthers struggled offensively and fell 64-54.
“We came into the game knowing we had to rebound the ball well and we fell way short of that,” said junior guard Luke Hamlin. “They out-rebounded us badly which slowed our offense down because we were not able to get into the open court and score.”
Chapman (14-5, 8-3) was outrebounded by Pomona-Pitzer (9-10, 3-7) 46-to-18 on the night. The Panthers also shot just 35.5 percent from the field, which was well below their season average of 42.5 percent.
“The flow of the game was also something that frustrated us. We missed shots we normally make, but there’s nothing we can do other than come back to practice Monday and work toward our goal of making it to the conference tournament,” Hamlin said.
Sophomore forward Rob Nelson led all scorers with 18 points on 6-of-17 shooting. He was the only Chapman player to score in double figures compared to three for the Sagehens.
The Panthers were unable to capitalize on a great disparity in turnovers, with Pomona-Pitzer turning the ball over 23 times compared to Chapman’s nine turnovers. The absence of Haslam’s presence in transition may have limited the Panthers offensively, and without the traditionally fast-paced offensive prowess that the team normally shows, the rebounding difference ultimately determined the outcome.
The loss will be particularly disappointing for the Panthers, as Pomona-Pitzer sits eighth in the conference standings. Though Chapman will maintain its sole grasp of first place, it can ill-afford to have repeat performances of Saturday’s game if the team hopes to maintain that top seed.