Takaoka leads second half rally past Pomona-Pitzer
ORANGE, Calif. – Moving one step closer to securing the top spot in the SCIAC conference, the Chapman University women's basketball team defeated Pomona-Pitzer, 73-64 on Saturday night at the Hutton Sports Center. The Panthers' victory extends their win streak to six games with just two games remaining in the regular season.
The win was all but easy for the Panthers, who struggled early, getting into foul trouble while failing to shoot at their usual high-percentage. The Sagehens took advantage, converting on 52.2 percent of their shots (12-for-23), including a team-high nine points from G Basha Brulee-Wills. Senior G Kimi Takaoka did her best to keep the team in the game in the opening period, scoring 17 points in the half on 8-of-12 shooting to keep the Panthers within range at 34-30.
Trailing by nine points with 16 minutes left in the contest, Chapman (17-5, 11-2 SCIAC) rallied to put together two consecutive 15-4 scoring runs. The first rally evened the score at 47-47 with 12:34 remaining and the second outburst, just minutes later, gave the Panthers a comfortable seven point lead with six minutes remaining.
The second half, much like the first, belonged to Takaoka, who poured in another 17 points to bring her tally on the night to a season-high 34 points. The clutch offensive performance, which included five of the Panthers' final nine points to put the Sagehens away, came within one point of her career-high set last season.
Sophomore F Sandra Gao put together a solid offensive performance, pouring in 16 points on the evening, including nine points in the Panthers' second half rally to go along with a team-high eight rebounds.
The Panthers will close out their regular season home schedule on Thursday when they host Caltech before traveling to La Verne on Saturday for the season finale.
by Ryan Cavinder
Sports Information Assistant