Hot second-half shooting leads Panthers past UC Santa Cruz

Taylor Hamasaki (Larry Newman Photography)
Taylor Hamasaki (Larry Newman Photography)

ORANGE, Calif. – After a tough first-half battle, the Chapman University men's basketball team put on an impressive shooting clinic, hitting 68.4 percent of their second-half shots (13-of-19) to defeat UC Santa Cruz, 80-71 at the Hutton Sports Center on Saturday. The Panther victory marked their third straight, improving their season mark to 6-3.

The Panthers fell behind early as UC Santa Cruz (2-10) jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the first two minutes of the contest. The Panthers would not trail for long, however, as junior G Colin Zavrsnick sparked a 9-0 run with five of his 15 points on the night. The two teams remained locked in a hotly contested affair as the lead changed five times in the first half. A late three-pointer from junior G Jordan Young would give the Panthers a 34-33 edge entering halftime.

Chapman came out firing in the second-half, erupting for a 15-3 run that included a trio of three-pointers from Zavrsnick, who was 4-of-7 from behind the arch on Saturday. Junior G Taylor Hamasaki added to Zavrsnick's efforts, pouring in 13 of his game-high 18 points in the second-half as the Panthers carried their commanding lead through to the end of the contest.

With three straight wins, the Panthers have secured their longest winning streak since Jan. 16-26 of last season. The recent streak can be credited to their prolific offense that has tallied 80+ points in each win. In nine games this season, Chapman is shooting 51.7 percent from the field, including an impressive 41 percent from three-point land.

Chapman will be back in action on Sunday evening as they host Pacific Lutheran at 6:30 p.m. Following tomorrow's contest, the Panthers will break for the holidays and resume competition on Sunday, Dec. 29 with a home game against Cornell (IA).

Box score:

by Ryan Cavinder
Sports Information Assistant

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