Women’s basketball tied for first place after winning fifth straight

The women’s basketball team defeated the University of La Verne 82-64 on Saturday, leading to its fifth win in a row. With five games remaining in the season, the Panthers are now tied for first place with California Lutheran University.

Senior guard Megan Charles led the Panthers with 23 points in Saturday’s game. That, coupled with the 20 turnovers committed by the Leopards (2-18, 2-9), led to a win for the Panthers (12-8, 9-2), who defeated La Verne by 21 points in the teams’ last matchup.

Despite being outscored in the third quarter, the Leopards couldn’t catch up to the Panthers’ significant leads in the second and fourth quarter, which were 29-20 and 24-14, respectively.

“We were in (high) pressure mode and making them turn the ball over,” said head coach Carol Jue.

La Verne cut Chapman’s lead to six during the fourth quarter, but Chapman responded with six unanswered points to stifle the Leopards’ momentum.

“We took a lot of hard losses at the beginning of the season,” Jue said. “We lost to a lot of top-10 schools, but I think that helped us get to where we are now, and we have a really good shot at winning the conference because of it.”

Jue said that as long as the team keeps its focus on defense – a strategy that has worked for the team during its winning streak this season – the Panthers could win the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) and are in contention for securing home-court advantage in the playoffs.

Chapman goes up against Pomona-Pitzer on Wednesday, Feb. 8 at the Hutton Sports Center. Chapman’s last matchup against the Sagehens was Dec. 11, 2016, when the Panthers won by 19 points.

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